Increasingly People Don’t Want to Vaccinate Their Dogs


Vaccine hesitancy has spread to dog care, as published in Science Direct. According to a survey from Boston University School of Public Health, in the study of 2,200 dog owners from March 23 to April 10, 2023, nearly 40 percent of respondents believed that canine vaccines are unsafe, and more than 20 percent said the vaccines are ineffective. Also, another 30 percent called the vaccines medically unnecessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates a CDC study published in 2013 added to the research showing that vaccines do not cause Autism Spectrum Disorder in humans. No matter, there’s no demonstrable evidence – at least not at this juncture – that dogs can be on the spectrum in the first place. So despite the fact that autism likely doesn’t even occur in dogs, according to the survey, a whopping 37 percent suggest that dogs can get autism from vaccinations.

Why do people feel this way? The survey suggests that, in part, it’s all about politics a holdover which occurred when vaccines for Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavavirus-2 which caused COVID-19 were rolled out, and continues to this day. Of course, vaccine hesitancy had been a growing issue well before COVID-19 began to sicken and kill people throughout the world.

The results are greatly concerning to the veterinary community who well aware that where in the world – or in the U.S. – dogs are not vaccinated that disease occurs. For example, in the U.S., where vaccines for canine distemper or canine parvovirus are rare, the diseases then pop up and kill dogs.

According to the World Health Organization, rabies kills 59,00 people around the world (a number experts and the WHO agree is likely low), and the primary species responsible are domestic dogs. In the U.S., because of vaccines, rabies is rare, and dogs are way down on the list of responsibility, as rabies is usually caused by bats or other wild animals. Where there are efforts to vaccinate stray dog for rabies in places ranging from Africa to China, rates of rabies caused by dogs plunge – again, demonstrable evidence that the vaccines are effective.

The American Animal Hospital Association calls vaccinations “a cornerstone of canine preventive healthcare” and recommends that all dogs (barring specific medical reasons), receive a core set of vaccines for rabies, distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza, and advises that many dogs receive additional non-core vaccinations for Lyme disease, Bordetella (which causes kennel cough), and other diseases which should include leptospirosis.

Cats were not included in the survey (for whatever the reason) but one might assume people may feel similarly.

Of course, these misconceptions about vaccines are wrong, and potentially dangerous – and not beneficial for canine or human health.

According to ALL available science, there’s little doubt that without vaccinating, diseases will reoccur. Rabies vaccination is not only recommended by veterinary organizations, it’s also the law, and that is to protect public health as rabies is always fatal to animals and humans. And with the number of dogs on the rise, and the number of dog bites up, could dog transmitted rabies occur more commonly in the U.S.? Without vaccination this is a real possibility.