In an effort to save money, some pet owners may be considering skipping future vaccinations for their pet. Regardless of your reasoning, there are a number of good reasons not to do this, and it's important that you understand these. As a responsible pet owner, you owe it to your animal to make any decisions involving them with their best interests in mind.

Health Concerns

Even for those who live in areas with minimal risk of certain viral infections, there's still good reason to vaccinate against the most common fatal illnesses. Strictly indoor animals aren't immune to infection either. Many of the illnesses that pet vaccinations prevent can be carried home by you or your family, such as through contact with co-workers who own pets or other vectors beyond your control.

Several of the viruses that vaccines prevent can also place your family at risk, including parvovirus, rabies or rhinotracheitis. Each of these either presents an immediate or secondary risk, either due to how it affects your pet or due to the risk of cross-species contamination. Furthermore, one unvaccinated animal can present a risk to any other animals in your home, especially if they haven't received a full course of vaccines yet.

Legal Concerns

While animal safety and control laws vary from one county or city to the next, many include some regulation related to vaccines. This may only include rabies for dogs, but other municipal laws may also carry consequences for choosing not to vaccinate your pets against high risk viruses. In some areas this only prevents you from obtaining a local license for your animal, but greater consequences may exist.

Failure to prove proper care in some municipal areas can carry legal repercussions, including fines, removal of the animal, and in extreme situations it may also result in jail time. Before you make a decision about vaccinating your pet make sure you are aware of any municipal laws in your area which might be violated if you decide against it. Often, a standard course of vaccines is far less expensive than the fines that result.

While the most compelling argument in favor of vaccinating your pet is the impact on their health, it's by no means the only one. Getting a new pet vaccinated, at a location like Cherokee Hospital for Animals, will ensure that they have the best chance of a long and happy life, and you won't have to deal with the results of some very serious illnesses.