If your pet resides solely in the safety of the bubble of your home, it is not a stretch to question how necessary vaccinations truly are. After all, why would you need to protect your pet if they are never exposed to anything?

Read on as Fairview Veterinary Hospital breaks down the age-old question as to whether vaccinations for indoor pets are really necessary.

In Short, Yes

As trusted medical professionals, we know that most of our clients trust us when we say that vaccinations for indoor pets are necessary. It doesn’t hurt to know why, though! There are some very good reasons that indoor pets need protection, too.

It’s the law – When it comes to rabies vaccination in the state of Pennsylvania, there are no exceptions. State law requires that all dogs and cats over the age of 12 weeks be appropriately vaccinated against rabies no matter their risk of exposure. Unvaccinated pets may be subject to fines, quarantine, or even euthanasia under extreme circumstances. 

Nothing is absolute – Through the years we have found that indoor pets are often at higher risk than owners like to think. Your sweet housecat might slip away during a noisy get-together, a repair worker might leave a door slightly ajar, or a tragedy such as a home break-in or fire might leave your pet vulnerable. Most indoor dogs do venture outside to relieve themselves, and many cats have exposure to others through window or door screens. 

Sometimes plans go awry – There are times when a low risk pet goes to high risk with little warning. You may have an unwanted intruder such as a bat or raccoon in your home, or you may decide to bring in that sickly kitten you find under your porch. What would happen if you needed to board your pet for a sudden family emergency, but they weren’t up to date on vaccines?

It’s not worth the risk – Most diseases that we vaccinate pets against have serious consequences. The risk of losing your dog to parvovirus is much higher than the risks associated with the vaccine, for example. Some vaccines also protect your human family members as well. Diseases like rabies and leptospirosis are zoonotic, meaning that they can be spread between animals and humans. 

Vaccinations for Indoor Pets

Not all pets need to be vaccinated against the same things. While some vaccinations for indoor pets are typically advisable, that doesn’t mean we need to vaccinate against every possible disease either. 

Our team will evaluate your individual pet’s overall health status, risk factors, and environment to determine which immunizations are most appropriate. You can talk to us about what vaccination plan might be most appropriate for your pet. 

Core vaccinations such as rabies and the canine or feline distemper combination vaccinations are typically advisable for most pets. They are one of our most powerful tools in pet wellness promotion!

It is important to us that your pets are as healthy and happy as possible- after all, that’s our job! Vaccinations for indoor pets might seem unnecessary at first glance, but on further investigation they are really an important part of good pet ownership.