Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. The RSPCA estimates about 62 per cent of Australian households have pets, and there are more than 24 million pets in Australia. However, according to new research done by finder.com.au, the equivalent of one in four cat and dog owners don’t keep their pet’s vaccinations up to date. That’s the equivalent of 2.7 million pet owners who could be leaving their pets exposed to illnesses by not staying on top of immunisations.
The findings came from a survey of 2,274 Australians, and Western Australian pet owners are the worst culprits, with 35 per cent of pet owners forgoing vaccinations. The study also found that the equivalent of 400,000 pet owners don’t believe in pet vaccinations.
Bessie Hassan, insurance expert at Finder.com.au’s pet insurance category says abandoning your pet’s vaccination schedule can have lasting negative effects on our furry friends.
“We’re a time-poor nation and that’s rubbing off on our pets,” says Bessie. “In fact, one in ten respondents cited not having enough time as their biggest reason for not getting their pet vaccinated.”
“Pet insurers won’t actually provide cover if your cat or dog becomes ill from a condition that could have been prevented through a vaccine. In most cases, pet owners know their puppy or kitten needs to be immunised, but this drops off the radar as they age,” says Bessie. “The research shows that the anti-vax movement is spreading to our fur-babies, which is potentially putting them at risk of contracting unwanted illnesses.”
According to Pets Australia, diseases can and do kill pets, such as germs like Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Feline Enteritis, and so on. Vaccination makes the pet’s body think it has the disease so antibodies can be made by the pet in a safe way. When the germ comes along, vaccination antibodies kill the germs before the germs can kill the pet. We know vaccination works to prevent normal disease levels in 80-98% of a vaccinated population, so pet vaccination is worthwhile.
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