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To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate...

...That is the question... if you've received a reminder from your vet that it's the time of year when little Muffin's vaccinations are due... but you might be wondering if it's really worth the effort and expense. And when you harken back to memories of the last battle to get Muffin in his travel box, with his incessant mewls and howls along the way… it just might have you rethinking the whole shebang (unless Muffin's a happy-traveler - then lucky you!). Not to mention that the thought of traffic and parking simply to get to the vet already has you breaking out in a sweat.

So, you ask (in a very exasperated inner-voice), why bother? Is this really worth the hassle?

The answer is, quite simply, yes… YES it is!

Why? What could possibly make all the crying (yours, not Muffin's) worth it? Well, cats and dogs are vaccinated to protect against life-threatening illnesses, which are preventable with the timely administered and correct immunizations. As for teeny puppies and kittens, it's very important they are vaccinated at the correct age and at the correct subsequent intervals otherwise they may not actually be protected against diseases… even though you think they are. Sadly, in the UAE, it's a common occurrence for vets to see imported young pets that have been vaccinated too young or have not had booster vaccines done at the correct time (this is also often the case with pets which have been taken to the local Dubai Municipality for vaccinations, so choose your vet carefully). These young animals are often sold for lots of money but remain at risk of contracting fatal illness… and not infrequently they do. If you have purchased a young cat or dog, it is really, really important to have their vaccination history checked out by your vet. And kittens and puppies should receive a series of vaccinations at 3-4 week intervals to ensure they develop their own protective immune response. The milk they receive from their mothers in their first weeks of life does provide protection through antibodies but this protection disappears after time (at about 6-8 weeks of age in puppies and 9 weeks of age in kittens). And it is precisely this time when the vaccination process should be started. Once the primary kitten or puppy vaccination course has been completed, booster vaccines are then recommended at yearly intervals (or sometimes in three-yearly intervals, depending on the manufacturer of the vaccine, although it's important to be aware that the UAE Ministry ignores the claims of three-yearly vaccine manufacturers and still requires proof of annual vaccinations when importing!).

One more thing: if you didn't already know, boarding facilities require that your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date. Need a little more information about what vaccinations are required to board a pet? While specific to DKC's requirements, our Terms & Conditions document contains pretty standard information on this subject:

http://www.dkc.ae/what-we-do/boarding-daycare/prices-admission-requirements

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