When it comes to veterinary care, the need for an indoor pet to be vaccinated is one of the more common questions (and assumptions) we encounter. While it’s true that animals who spend more time outside are at greater risk of exposure to certain diseases, this does not mean indoor pets are immune. Simply put, there’s always the risk of infection.
4 Important Reasons to Vaccinate an Indoor Pet
- The rabies vaccine is required by law. Even if your pooch spends all day inside on the couch, most states (including Texas) require all cats and dogs receive the rabies vaccine. Protection against this deadly virus keeps your pet safe and ensures other people and animals won’t be exposed.
- Highly contagious viruses can be spread in multiple ways. You can unintentionally expose your indoor pet to a disease by bringing viruses in on your clothing, shoes, skin, and so forth. Likewise, your pet is at risk of exposure any time a guest brings a pet to your home. When you consider this reality, it becomes clear that preventing your pet from being around other people and animals isn’t possible.
- Pets do occasionally get loose. Although you may take every precaution imaginable, all it takes is a few seconds for a pet to escape through an open gate or window. An unvaccinated pet who goes missing risks coming into contact with sick animals during his or her adventure through the neighborhood. Missing pets may also be picked up by animal control and housed in crowded shelters while the owner is located. Places like this are rife with contagious diseases, bringing great risk to any unvaccinated animal.
- Latent illnesses can be triggered. There are several illnesses a pet might have been exposed to early in life, such as the feline herpes virus and calicivirus. Stress, anxiety, or other conditions can trigger the onset of these latent illnesses. Like our own flu vaccine, maintaining your pet’s annual boosters can help minimize the frequency, symptoms, and severity of these occurrences.
Although there is a tendency to assume that an indoor cat is safe from infectious diseases caused by parasites, this game of chance places many beloved pets in danger. Most standard or core vaccines are affordable and cause few, if any, side effects.
You can trust the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital to customize the right vaccine plan for your pet based on individual factors such as lifestyle, health, age, and risk of exposure. As always, we welcome your call if you have any questions or concerns.