The advances of modern medicine have done a world of good for both humans and pets alike. From antibiotics to groundbreaking surgeries, the last century in medicine has helped humans and animals live longer, fuller lives. Vaccines are one of the most important of these medical advances, as they can stop diseases in their tracks and reduce the severity of symptoms and spread.
However, misinformation about vaccines, both for humans and animals, has damaged their reputation. These world-changing medical aids have allowed societies to thrive by wiping certain diseases off the map.
So why do vaccines have such a negative reputation with some people? In today’s digital age, it can be challenging to find reliable, up-to-date data sources about vaccines.
In this blog, we will examine the ten most common myths about pet vaccines and the realities behind them.
#1: Pets That Don’t Go Outside Don’t Need Vaccines
One common misconception about pet vaccinations is that indoor-only pets do not need regular, up-to-date vaccinations, but this could not be further from the truth.
While it’s true that indoor cats, dogs, and other animals have less exposure to disease vectors than their outdoor counterparts, indoor pets are still susceptible to illnesses, including kennel cough and others. Disease vectors, or disease-carrying organisms capable of transmitting infection, still exist within indoor spaces.
One of the most common disease vectors, fleas, can infest pet homes even if those pets have received flea treatments. Humans carry these and other insects in on clothing, shoes, and other items they bring inside. These insects can carry fatal diseases and transmit them to indoor pets.
#2: Smaller Pets Get Smaller Vaccines
Another myth about pet vaccines is that an anime’s vaccine dose size is directly tied to the animal’s size. This idea is just a fundamental misunderstanding of biology. Vaccines work by using weakened forms of viruses to train immune systems to recognize and neutralize those viruses.
All of this happens at a microscopic level inside a human or animal’s body, meaning the vaccine dose is already small enough not to require adjustments in correlation with the size of an animal. For the same reason, larger animals do not need larger quantities of vaccines either.
#3: Vaccines Make Pets Sick
Vaccines activate immune systems. As a result of this activation or other factors, some vaccinations may result in mild to moderate side effects or symptoms. These symptoms are simply a temporary vaccine reaction and do not mean an animal or human has been infected with the virus carried in the vaccine.
The materials and viruses used in vaccines are safe and have been weakened or deadened before use. Severe complications from standard vaccinations are rare.
#4: Veterinarians Only Vaccinate Pets to Make Money
One myth you may have heard about pet vaccines is that veterinarians only recommend them to increase their profits. This idea comes from a mistrust of veterinary or medical systems.
Vets and other doctors dedicate their lives and careers to promoting the long-term health of humans and their animal companions. These compassionate professionals do not prescribe treatment solely for profit.
#5: Pets Vaccinated Before Adoption Don’t Need Additional Vaccines
Some adopted pets receive vaccinations before humans adopt them and take them home. While some people may be tempted to believe their pet needs no additional vaccines, this is not true.
Depending on the pet’s age, they may need annual or bi-annual vaccine boosters for diseases like rabies, parvo, and other illnesses. In younger pets, some vaccines require multiple doses to be effective. Check with your vet to find out which vaccines your pet needs.
#6: Self-Administered Vaccines Are as Good as Veterinary-Grade Vaccines
Sometimes, vaccines are available for purchase through pet stores or feed stores. These and veterinarian-administered vaccines do face the same strict regulations from the USDA and other organizations.
However, human error and lack of experience introduce uncontrollable risk factors in a home environment. If a vaccine is not stored or administered properly, it could be rendered ineffective. Veterinary professionals receive training to order, store, and administer pet vaccinations using methods that reduce the risk of secondary infections or illnesses.
#7: All Vaccines Must Be Renewed Annually
Some people avoid vaccinating their pets because the expected yearly vaccination schedule may seem too expensive. However, many core pet vaccinations only need to be administered once every three years. Speak with your veterinarian to know which vaccines your pet needs to take annually.
#8: Vaccines Only Benefit Vaccinated Pets
It’s understandable to think that vaccines only benefit those pets that are vaccinated. This belief is based on common misunderstandings about how vaccines work. Vaccines reduce the likelihood of a pet contracting certain diseases, which is beneficial for the vaccinated animal. However, vaccinated animals also have a lower chance of spreading certain diseases, which helps protect other animals.
#9: Pet Vaccines Only Help Pets
Some viruses and diseases are zoonotic, meaning that those illnesses may transmit between animals and humans. Vaccinating your pets helps reduce the spread of many diseases, including those that impact both humans and animals alike.
#10: Pets That Live in the City Don’t Need Certain Vaccines
Misconceptions about diseases are common. For example, many people believe that rabies only affects animals in rural areas. If this were true, rabies might be easier to eradicate.
However, cities often have packs or colonies of stray animals, and these animals are as susceptible to rabies infections as their rural counterparts. No matter what part of the world they call home, all pets should enjoy their best shot at lifelong health. Speak to your veterinarian to learn about which vaccines your pet needs today.
Find a Vet or Vaccine Clinic in Texas
If you have questions regarding the dosage, safety, and efficacy of your pet’s vaccines and medicines, then you should refer to a veterinary professional. Fortunately, Penny Paws is here for you with four locations in Texas. Browse our website to find an animal clinic or mobile vaccine clinic near you.