Vaccinations are an essential way of protecting your pets from many nasty diseases. parvovirus, for example, affects an estimated 20,000 dogs in Australia each year. Parvovirus is potentially fatal, but the disease is avoidable through vaccination. Unfortunately, despite knowing the importance of pet vaccines, several myths continue to float around, contradicting vet recommendations. As a new pet owner, here are three common vaccination myths that you must ignore to ensure your pet's long-term wellbeing.
Myth One — A Dog Who Does Not Leave The Property Does Not Need Vaccination
This myth is technically correct but highly unlikely to occur in reality. Indeed, a dog who remains at home 100% of its life is unlikely to become ill from a disease, but consider these two points:
- Parvovirus can remain in the soil for up to a decade, so if you have moved house in the past ten years, can you unequivocally be confident there is no parvovirus in the back garden soil?
- There will be times in the future when your dog needs to leave the property. From annual vet visits to boarding kennel visits during your next vacation, there is no way to guarantee your pet will never leave the property during its lifetime.
Every time an unvaccinated pet leaves their home territory, there is a chance of encountering disease.
Myth Two — No More Vaccines After Puppy Shots
Generally, when a family adopts a puppy, it happens around ten weeks of age. The initial vaccine coverage for dogs is at the age of 6-8 weeks. After that, booster shots are necessary every 2-4 weeks until the puppy reaches 16 weeks. Therefore, if you collect a puppy at ten weeks of age, you are responsible for two sets of booster shots. But, for the vaccines to remain effective, your canine buddy must receive an annual booster injection. Therefore, the myth that vaccination ends after puppy shots is incorrect.
Myth Three - Vaccinations Make Dogs Sicker Than Disease Does
A common argument to avoid dog vaccination is the fourth-hand horror story of a friend of a friend of a friend whose dog got sick after having their vaccination shots. However, just like with humans, the vaccination is most likely not what made the pet sick. Pet vaccinations are time-proven to work effectively and safely. After vaccination, you may notice minor side effects after vaccination, such as injection site soreness or lethargy. However, a significant illness such as vomiting or diarrhea is more likely to be food-related than vaccine-related.
Of course, if you have any concerns about pet vaccinations, make an appointment with your vet to discuss these further.