Importance of Pet Vaccinations | Richfield, OH

pet vaccinations

Did you know that vaccinations are just as important for animals as they are for humans? When you become the owner of a pet, you will have many different responsibilities to think about. One of your biggest priorities should be making sure that your pet has had all of the necessary vaccinations.

There are many different diseases that can make our animals sick. Some are very serious and can even be life-threatening. Fortunately, vaccinations make it possible to protect our pets from the most debilitating and deadliest illnesses. In fact, immunizations have saved the lives of countless animals worldwide.

How do Pet Vaccinations Work?

Pet vaccinations work in exactly the same way as human vaccinations. The vaccine itself is an altered version of the real disease, made safe but able to masquerade as it in order to trIck your pet’s body into thinking that it is under attack from disease-causing organisms. This stimulates your pet’s immune system into producing antibodies that can fight the disease. Remarkably, our bodies, and that of our pets, have the ability to remember the key characteristics of the real disease so that if it should ever come into contact with it again, it can quickly produce antibodies to fight it, before it can do us – or in this case our pet – any harm.

Vaccinations tend to only be effective for a period of time before a further dose is needed to continue your pet’s preventative care. Virtually all veterinary practices offer routine immunizations as part of their standard care. These are often incorporated into routine wellness appointments.

Pet Vaccinations and Zoonotic Diseases

Pet vaccinations aren’t only important for keeping your pet safe from disease. They can also protect you and your human family. This is because many of the diseases that pose a risk to animals are zoonotic in nature, which means that they are caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses that can be transmitted between animals and humans. There are lots of different zoonotic diseases, with new ones being discovered every year. Fortunately, many zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, can be prevented by ensuring that our pet has the correct vaccinations.

Your Legal Obligation

Did you know that you have a legal obligation to have your pet vaccinated against certain diseases? Every state has its own individual laws relating to immunization requirements and the schedule with which they should be administered. Proof of vaccination against rabies is required in virtually all states and failure to provide this could see you receiving a hefty fine and potentially having your pet removed and euthanized.

How to know what Vaccinations Your Pet Needs?

The vaccinations required by each pet will vary depending on their species, age, and location. There are a number of vaccinations that are recommended for all pets of certain species. These are called core vaccinations. Then, there are some that are only given if your pet’s circumstances dictate that they would be beneficial. These are referred to as non-core vaccinations.

If you have a puppy or kitten, they will need to have their initial dose of core vaccinations spread over a number of appointments. This is because it isn’t safe to give the full dose at once when your furbaby is undersized, and instead it is better to build up their immunity gradually.

Your vet will be able to advise you which vaccinations your pet needs and which schedule they should be administered on.

If you’d like more information about the importance of vaccinations for your pet, please contact our veterinary team at Richfield Animal Medical Center in Richfield, OH who would be happy to help.