They’re the furry friends that complete millions of families across Australia, but new data has revealed many Aussies aren’t properly vaccinating their pet cats and dogs.
While the anti-vaxxer movement has caused debate across many communities when it comes to human health, new data from finder.com.au has found more people than originally thought may be leaving their pets exposed to deadly diseases. As many as one in four dog and cat owners don’t keep their pet’s vaccinations up-to-date, equal to 2.7 million pet owners across the country.
The survey, which questioned the pet vaccination habits of 2,274 Aussies, found the equivalent of 400,000 people don’t believe in pet vaccinations, while 27 per cent of pet owns either haven’t vaccinated their pets, don’t believe in vaccinations or aren’t sure if they’re up-to-date or not.
The majority of people (13 per cent) said they hadn’t vaccinated their pets because they hadn’t had a chance, while 6 per cent sad they weren’t sure when they were next due. Worryingly, 4 per cent said they’d never had their pets immunised, while 3 per cent said they didn’t believe in vaccinating pets.
Western Australians are the worst culprits with 17 per cent not vaccinating their pets. The number was much lower in New South Wales, sitting at 10 per cent. Meanwhile, one in 15 Baby Boomers are anti-vaccinating their pets, with 6 per cent not believing in immunising their pets. Still, Boomers are more likely to keep pet vaccinations up-to-date at 83 per cent, compared to 64 per cent of those from Gen Y.
“The research shows that the anti-vax movement is spreading to our furry friends, which could be putting them at risk of contracting unwanted illnesses,” Bessie Hassan, Insurance Expert at finder.com.au said. “We’re a time-poor nation and that’s rubbing off on our pets.”
She warned that pet insurers won’t provide cover to a cat or a dog that becomes ill from a condition that could have been prevented through a vaccination and stressed the importance of regular vaccinations.
“In most cases pet owners no know that their puppies and kittens need to be immunised, but this just drops off the radar as they age,” Hassan added. “The best thing to do is put it in your calendar to remind yourself in future as those boosters are needed.”
Always discuss when and how often your pet needs an immunisation and check-up with your vet.