The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) is a UK charity that runs hospitals which provide free and low-cost veterinary care. Each year they produce a report on animal well-being known as the PAW Report.
The latest PAW Report (click HERE for the full text) has been getting a lot of attention because it has found that the rate of pet vaccinations in the UK is on a sharp decline.
The PDSA estimates that over 7 million UK pets are at risk for disease because of lack of vaccination, including very young pets that are the most vulnerable.
The number of primary vaccinations received by young pets has dropped from 84% in 2016 to 66% in 2019, an 18% decrease. 32% of pets in the UK are not receiving their booster shots.
Reasons for not vaccinating cited by pet owners include:
- Too expensive
- Pets don’t encounter other animals
- It’s unnecessary
- Going to the vet is stressful for pets
The report’s authors note that the decline in pet vaccinations mirrors the decline in child vaccinations. Many people who are reluctant to vaccinate kids and pets show skepticism about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
According to PDSA veterinarians, “Vaccinations have helped to protect millions of pets from serious diseases. If people don’t vaccinate, we risk seeing a rise in extremely unpleasant, preventable, diseases that can cause considerable animal suffering and death.”
If you have questions or concerns about vaccinations for your dogs, cats, and other animals, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. You can also check out the Vaccinations page of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website for lots of helpful information.