August is an important month.
Before you say it, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Of course August is an important month. August 14 is National Creamsicle Day! I’ve been waiting all year for this!”
While I completely agree that this refreshing summertime orange and vanilla treat makes the month extra special (I mean, it’s ice cream AND fruit juice in one!) would you believe it’s not the most important part of the month?
That’s right. August is…*drumroll please*
NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH!
*Pauses for applause*
Again, I know what you’re thinking: “Needles beat creamsicles?! What madness is this??” I know this is going to be a tough sell, but hear me out.
Why Vaccinations Are Important
Staying on top of vaccines and immunizations is a key factor in maintaining the health and well-being of your furry companions. Vaccinations help prevent the spread of diseases that could otherwise run rampant.
One example is canine parvovirus. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) website, the only reason the canine parvovirus rarely occurs in some areas is due to the fact that enough dogs are vaccinated to provide ‘herd immunity.’
Not only are regular vaccinations vital to maintaining your dog’s health, in the case of rabies it is required by law. The required frequency of rabies vaccinations varies state to state. Nebraska state law, for instance, requires dogs and cats be vaccinated for rabies at 3 months with a booster shot one year later and then revaccinated every three years.
Now that we've covered why vaccinations are important, let’s address some of the common questions surrounding this topic among pet owners.
Which Vaccinations Should My Pet Receive and How Often?
All pets have individual health needs. It is therefore extremely important to discuss your dog’s health and vaccination needs with your veterinarian. According to the AAHA Vaccination Protocols, the following should be taken into consideration when determining which vaccinations a pet should receive:
For example, older dogs and cats have different needs regarding vaccinations than younger pets. Whether or not a pet has spent time in a shelter will also affect the recommended vaccinations.That being said, there are a set of ‘core’ vaccinations for dogs and cats as outlined in the below image:
Infographic courtesy of VetNetwork
Again, your pet may not need all of the
Another helpful resource can be found on the Vaccination FAQ section of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website.
While immunization awareness may not be the most exciting or fun part of August, I think we can now all agree that it is one of the most important. And remember, if your dog isn’t a fan of needles, treat them to this dog-friendly creamsicle recipe when you get home from the vet and all will be forgiven!