Pet Anti-Vaxers vs Vaccinations: What Are The Risks Of Not Vaccinating Your Dog?

Vaccinations for humans is an emotive subject, with people on both sides of the vaccination debate ready to share their reasons why they do or don't vaccinate. The anti-vaccination discussion has now spread a little further down the family chain with debate regarding the vaccination of pets. Your dog is due for their annual booster, and based on the new debate you are wondering whether to go ahead with the time and expense needed to take your canine mate to the vet. When it comes to dog vaccinations, it's worth remembering these points.

Some dog diseases are highly contagious

Parvovirus is one of the conditions your dog receives protection against when it has its vaccinations. Parvovirus is highly infectious, and you don't have to search far on Google to see which cities are currently experiencing a parvo outbreak.

Anti-vaxers argue that if you keep your dog at home and away from the contaminated areas like parks where parvo lurks, then there is no need for administration of the parvovirus vaccine. The problem with this theory is that parvovirus remains present in its contaminated area for up to 12 months. This longevity means every time you take your dog out of the house, even just to walk it out to the car, there is the potential for them to cross over an area potentially contaminated with the disease. Once it takes hold, parvovirus has a 90% fatality rate for unvaccinated dogs. Your pet can undergo medical treatment to lower this rate, but it does cost several thousand dollars.

Some dog diseases are airborne

Unless you have found a way to stop your dog from breathing air, then, unfortunately, they are at risk of catching a disease by merely breathing. Take kennel cough for example. Anti-vaxers argue that if your dog is not going to a boarding kennel, then it does not need to be vaccinated against this condition. However, kennel cough primarily spreads through the air. This airborne spread means that your dog does not need to have direct contact with an infected dog to get this disease. All they need to do is breathe in contaminated droplets released into the air when a sick dog coughs.

An isolated dog has a lower immunity

Finally, the argument that dogs kept on their property don't need vaccinating is also not correct. Dogs who spend a lot of time on their own have lower disease resistance than vaccinated dogs who are allowed to socialise. This lower immunity means they are more prone to being infected by exposed diseases.

Talk to your vet if you have any fears about the upcoming dog vaccination boosters. They can talk you through the pros and cons of protecting your pet against disease.