4 Things Pet Owners Need to Know About Vaccinations


People aren’t the only ones who need vaccinations. Pets also need help preventing dangerous diseases through immunization.


Unfortunately, not all pets visit the vet as often as they should. According to a 2012 report from the AVMA (the most recent statistics), 44.9 percent of cat owners did not take their felines to the veterinarian in 2011; 18.7 of dog owners also failed to do so.


Since August is National Immunization Month, now is a great time for retailers to assist with spreading awareness about the importance of veterinary visits and vaccines. Here are a few key facts to educate pet parents about vaccinations through signage, brochures, social media posts and online newsletters:


1. What are vaccines?

Vaccines help prevent diseases by triggering immune responses and training the body to fight future infections, thus reducing the likelihood of sickness. All dogs should receive core vaccines, including canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies. Cats should be vaccinated for feline distemper, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus type I and rabies.


2. Why are they important for my pet?

Not only do vaccinations play a key role in preventing serious illnesses, but they also help keep other animals and humans safe. Plus, vaccinating your pet can help owners avoid expensive treatments for preventable diseases.


3. What are the risks?

The most common negative responses are mild, including tenderness at the injection site, fever and allergic reactions, and serious complications are very rare.


4. How often should pets be vaccinated?

Kittens and puppies typically receive a series of vaccinations around four months old. After that, pets typically require vaccinations every couple of years. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best schedule for your pet based on their risk factors and needs.


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