Australians are neglecting their pets’ vaccines

Brad Buzzard 8 May 2018 NEWS

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Regular jabs have become an afterthought as life gets in the way.

While there is a subset of people who refuse to vaccinate their children, the rest of us don’t usually forget to do so. But with pets, it’s different.

A survey from finder.com.au found that 27% of Australians, or 2.7 million pet owners, don’t keep their furry friends’ vaccinations up-to-date. Of this 27%, actual “anti-vaxxers” are the smallest subset (12%).

The rest simply procrastinate or forget.

The number one reason pets go unvaccinated is that their owners just “haven’t had a chance yet” (47%).

Here is how it breaks down:

Dogs and cats are expected to have annual vaccination boosters, and falling behind on your pet’s vaccinations can be detrimental to your pet and to other pets it comes into contact with.

Unvaccinated dogs are at risk of contracting and/or spreading a number of diseases including distemper, parvovirus and infectious hepatitis. These viral infections can cause fever, vomiting, inflammation and even death.

Cats have their own list of problematic viruses that can be avoided through vaccination. These include panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.

The worst performing demographic groups when it comes to pet vaccinations are Western Australians (35% lapsed), millennials (36%), females (28%) and rural folk (30%).

If it's been more than a year since you've last taken your pet in for a check-up, now is the time to do so. Talk with your vet about getting your schedule back on track, and ask them to send you yearly reminders.

While many common vaccines are administered yearly, there are some that are administered less frequently than that. So if you can't use the same vet year on year, you'll need to keep your own records to share with any new clinic you visit.

You might want to consider pet insurance as a way to help you save on your yearly check-up and vaccinations. It will also ensure your pet and your wallet is protected in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness.

Already got pet insurance? Excellent! But if you haven't vaccinated your pet then you still won't be covered for any preventable conditions. So jump on it now, or risk facing the music when dear Charlie falls ill.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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