You are likely familiar with the anti-vax movement thanks to the pandemic. However, the vocally cynical group extends beyond Covid vaccines. Now, the anti-vax mindset is infecting dog parents, too.
Anti-vax mentality spreading among dog parents
According to CBS News, a new study reveals that a majority of dog parents are hesitant to vaccinate their pets. This is despite the fact that failing to vaccinate pets puts both fur babies and humans at risk of serious health issues.
The School of Public Health at Boston University found that an astonishing 53 percent of dog parents have “some hesitancy” regarding vaccines for dogs. These pet parents regarded the vaccines as unnecessary, ineffective, and/or unsafe.
“My co-authors and I were stunned by how prevalent this phenomenon is,” Dr. Matt Motta said regarding the study’s results.
According to Motta, unvaccinated pets are a danger to both fellow animals and the humans in their environment.
“If there are more unvaccinated dogs out there, the risk of disease transmission grows,” he said.
The truth about vaccines for dogs
Most states in the U.S. require that pets receive rabies vaccinations. The American Animal Hospital Association also recommends a “core set” of vaccines. This includes inoculations for adenovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus as well as shots for Bordetella, Lyme disease, and other diseases.
“Obviously if you get rabies, if you don’t get treated right away or whatever, you die. Parvo and distemper, for sure, can be fatal,” Dr. Todd Calsyn, a veterinarian, told CBS News.
Unfortunately, the Boston University researchers also discovered that vaccine misinformation is rampant among dog parents.
“Nearly two-fifths of dog owners believe that routine vaccines administered to dogs, can cause them to develop autism, which is a fundamentally human diagnosis, not something that we observe in canine populations,” said Motta.
There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism – in pets or humans.
“With any drug, treatment, or vaccine, there is always a risk of adverse effects,” said Gabrielle Motta, a veterinarian. “But the risk with the rabies vaccine is quite low—especially when compared to the risk of rabies infection, which is almost 100 percent lethal.”
One of the best ways to protect your dog’s health as well as your own is through vaccination. Consult your veterinarian on the right vaccines for your dog.