More and more, pet vaccinations are being seen as unnecessary. Animals have survived for years without human intervention, so why start now? Aren’t vaccinations just another way to glean money out of owner’s pockets? In these penny-pinching times, these are legitimate concerns. But vaccinating now could mean avoiding costly operations down the road. Moreover, your pet is a domesticated animal, not a feral one, and depends upon you, her human companion, for survival. Here are the basics of feline and canine vaccination (other pets also require vaccinations; consult your veterinarian for a vaccination schedule):
- Vaccines introduce a weaker form of a disease into your pet’s immune system, prepping it for stronger forms of the disease it might encounter later.
- Side effects are always a possibility but are rarely lethal. Your pet may be experiencing a side effect if he is running a fever, is vomiting, or has diarrhea.
- Don’t miss these! “Core” vaccinations are the standard for all cats and dogs.
Examples: parvovirus vaccine (for dogs), panleukopenia vaccine (for cats)
- “Non-core” vaccinations are not always crucial to your pet’s health and can be skipped (just ask your vet first!)
Examples: Canine Parainfluenza vaccine (for dogs), Bordetella bronciseptica vaccine
Vaccinations aren’t fun for your pet or your wallet, but they go a long way toward keeping her healthy and safe. Check with your vet to see if there are any non-core vaccinations you can shave off the roster. A few less expenses couldn’t be bad for your health either!