A lot of people worry about getting their dog vaccinated because they are concerned about the possible side effects. They may also think that vaccination isn’t a priority since so many other people get their pets vaccinated it means that the risk of infection is low.
The truth is that getting your dog vaccinated is one of the most important things that you can do as a responsible pet owner.
The benefits outweigh the risks
Some of the risks associated with vaccinating your pet are:
- Mild swelling around the injection site
- Mild signs of a fever
- Very low risk of an allergic reaction to the vaccine, which can range from mild to life-threatening
However, the danger posed to your pet’s life by the diseases that vaccinations protect against is much greater. And the chance of them contracting a dangerous disease if they are unvaccinated is much higher than the chance of an adverse reaction to vaccination.
Animal vaccination is important not only for protecting the health of your pet but for protecting the health of populations at large – both animal and human.
Protection from rabies
Although the risk of rabies in the US has been dramatically reduced, there is still a real risk that your pet could contract it. According to a long interesting facts about rabies blog article from Diamond Pet, rabies is endemic (regularly found) in 49 out of 50 states.
It’s generally carried by wild animals, and it can infect any mammal – including humans. If a human is bitten by a potentially rabid animal, they can receive treatment that will prevent the disease from taking hold, provided they seek medical attention before symptoms develop.
For animals, this is not the case. There is no effective treatment for rabies in animals, and once they have it, it’s nearly always fatal.
If an animal is vaccinated, then they are immune to the disease and therefore protected from it.
Protection from Lyme Disease and Leptospirosis
Vaccination also protects dogs from Lyme disease and leptospirosis.
Lyme Disease is carried by ticks, which live in areas of long grass. Leptospirosis is present in the urine of infected animals. Both of these things are very easy for a dog to come into contact with while they are on a walk.
Both Lyme Disease and Leptospirosis can be fatal in dogs and are difficult to treat once the infection has taken hold. Lyme Disease and Leptospirosis can be treated if caught early through the use of aggressive antibiotics, but there is still a risk of permanent liver or kidney damage.
It makes financial sense
Aside from your dog’s health, there are also financial benefits to getting them vaccinated.
Veterinary treatment for the disease can cost thousands, whereas the cost of a round of vaccinations is comparatively small.
You will probably also find that your pet insurance policy requires you to have up to date vaccinations; otherwise, it will not be valid. This means that you could end up having to pay a large bill out of your own pocket.