Just like any other member of your family, your pet needs certain vaccinations to stay healthy and happy. In addition to a nutritious diet, daily exercise, and ample playtime, vaccines can greatly improve your pet’s quality of life. By triggering protective immune responses, they not only help to reduce the risk of contracting airborne diseases, but they can also prevent some fatal infections altogether.
Whether your cat or dog enjoys a snuggly indoor life or roams freely outdoors, vaccinations are essential to their health. Here are a few reasons why pet vaccinations are so important and why they should be part of your companion’s wellness exam.
Puppies and Parvovirus
An extremely contagious viral disease, canine parvovirus commonly affects adolescent and unvaccinated dogs—particularly puppies. The virus is transmitted when a healthy dog comes into contact with an infected dog’s feces. Once it enters the system, the virus will attack the rapidly-dividing cells in your dog’s body, causing severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration. Over time, the illness can become life-threatening.
There’s currently no cure for the virus, so treatment largely consists of controlling symptoms and boosting the immune system. For this reason, it’s important to vaccinate your dog early in order to help to build up their immunity and protect other dogs from developing this serious condition.
Boarding, Grooming, and Vaccinating
If you frequently board or groom your dog, they could also be exposed to kennel cough. Kennel cough is a contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs, caused by the bacteria Parainfluenza and Bordetella, and it can lead to pneumonia if left untreated. Because it’s easily spread through aerosols, from dog to dog, and via contaminated objects, it often occurs in enclosed spaces, such as boarding facilities and animal shelters. The most effective way to prevent your dog from developing kennel cough—or passing it along to another dog—is to vaccinate.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
Dogs aren’t the only animals vulnerable to upper respiratory infections. Cats can also develop URIs like feline viral rhinotracheitis, a condition that’s transmitted from cat to cat through sneezing, coughing, grooming, or shared food. Whether you have two cats in the same household or your cat has free reign of the neighborhood, they could easily become exposed to feline viral rhinotracheitis. The only way to ensure their health is to vaccinate them.
Pet vaccinations are also beneficial to your health and the health of other people. For example, rabies is a fatal virus that attacks the brain and central nervous system. If an animal is infected, they can then transmit the disease to another animal or human through biting or scratching. Subsequently, it is required by law to vaccinate your dog or cat against rabies. Acting now will help to safeguard not just your pet’s health, but yours and your family’s as well.
Pets today live longer, healthier lives than ever before. This is due in part to vaccinations that have been developed to protect against infectious diseases. At Noah’s Ark, keeping your pet healthy is our primary goal, which is why setting a custom vaccination schedule for your dog or cat is important to us. Contact us today to set up an appointment and discuss your vaccination options.