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Anti-Vaxxer pet owners exist – and they’re much more common than you think!

Dogue de Bordeaux looking sad at the thought of a vaccination © Pixabay, Pexels

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) has recently released a survey shedding light on the increasing number of UK pet owners who choose not to vaccinate their pets.

By Justine Seraphin, 9 Sep 2019

It’s a well-known fact: vaccinations can prevent animals (including humans) from catching viral diseases which could shorten their lives. In the case of our pets, these include diseases like rabies, distemper, or feline leukaemia to name a few.

Shocking numbers

So it’s a wonder that any loving pet-owner would make the conscious decision to withhold something beneficial from their pet. Yet, it’s actually quite common here in the UK.

Indeed, PDSA just released a recent survey which showed that this year, only 66% of dog, cat, and rabbit owners had their pets vaccinated when young. Not only are these numbers low, they have also dropped drastically in a matter of two short years. In 2016, 84% of pet owners were vaccinating their pets when young.

People don’t believe in vaccines

So, this, of course, begs the question – why? Well, for most pet owners, it seems to be related to costs (17%), and their pet’s lack of interaction with other animals (also 17%). This was followed closely by 16% of pet owners who outright don’t believe that vaccines are necessary.

PDSA blames the myths about human vaccines, which are being spread primarily through social media, for these shocking results.

“These negative messages about vaccines can be projected onto pets in surprising ways – for example, the false link between the [measles, mumps, and rubella] vaccines and autism has also been applied to pet vaccines by skeptics, despite any link being thoroughly debunked in people and autism not being documented in pets,” they wrote.

And this observation is quite spot-on, as the decline in pet vaccinations seems to be going hand-in-hand with a decline in child vaccination in the UK.

Pets need vaccines just as much as children do. Despite the UK being a relatively safe country, this does not immunise people or their pets from any kinds of diseases.

Protect your loved ones, get them vaccinated.