- Why We Vaccinate Our Pets for Certain Diseases
Some of these diseases are even transmissible to humans, placing us in harm's way as well. For that reason, veterinarians recommend vaccinating your pets to protect them against the most serious ones.
We here at Happy Paws Pet Sitting want your pets to have happy, healthy lives, which is why we've written this guide. We're covering how vaccines work, what diseases they protect against, and more. Read on!
How Do Vaccines Work
So, how exactly do vaccines work? Do they inject a super dose of medicine that keeps your pet in pristine health for several years at a time?
Not exactly. Vaccines actually introduce strains of the virus to your pet during their formative months in order to stimulate their immune system and teach it how to effectively fight against the virus.
While vaccines usually prevent them from contracting the diseases entirely, your pet may still get sick in some cases. However, having a good vaccination record will lessen the severity of the illness and could be the reason they recover without serious complications.
Types of Diseases
There's not a vaccine for every disease, but the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends vaccinating against the following common ones:
Why Vaccination is Important
Not everyone knows what makes vaccinating our pets so important. There are many reasons why you should vaccinate your pets, even if you feel that you and your pets are at a low risk for the diseases listed above. The most important reasons for vaccinating your pets include:
In addition, some dog training classes and boarding facilities will not accept your pet if they do not have proof that they are up to date with their vaccinations. Some landlords require this documentation as well.
How to Vaccinate
As soon as you purchase or adopt your new pet, it's important to bring them straight to a reputable veterinarian. A highly-rated veterinarian will know exactly what to provide your pet and when it's best to administer the vaccine to ensure they are protected with minimal adverse effects.
Most vaccines are injections, so your poor puppy or kitty will need to be brave for their shots. Fortunately, some are taken orally, but they're not as tasty as treats, so you'll probably need to conceal the medication inside something more palatable, like a treat or table scrap.
When to Vaccinate
If you have a brand-new puppy or kitty, the vet will be able to set a schedule based on their age and vaccinate accordingly. To receive full immunization to the most common diseases, you'll need to be semi-regular at the vet, but after the first year of life, those vet visits become farther and farther apart.
By the time they are adults, they will only need to visit every few years, save for their annual physical to just "check in", and see how they're doing.
When to vaccinate isn't quite as clear cut if you're rescuing an older stray or adopting from a shelter. Most shelters provide veterinary care to newcomers, so you may not need to rush your new pet to the vet if you're adopting.
If you're rescuing a stray, though, there's no telling when they last received a vaccination, if they ever received one in the first place. Luckily, vets are able to administer what's called a "titer test," which measures the presence of antibodies in the blood. This test lets them know if your newly rescued friend needs vaccines or if they're already immunized.
We want our pets to live long, healthy lives. That's why vaccinating them against the most common and most dangerous diseases is an important step in protecting them and ensuring you live a happy life together!