Why is it important to vaccinate your pets?

In a time when vaccine debates are always a huge topic for parent’s and pet owners, many people feel the information related to people and animals can be considered the same. However, making sure to educate yourself versus jumping aboard the newest trend is important.
Being in the vet field for as long as I have, I’ve heard so many reasons why people don’t vaccinate their animals. While some of them I can absolutely agree with, such as vaccine reactions, others I have a hard time coming to grips with. Especially when the reason behind it is “Well, my breeder said I shouldn’t vaccinate”. Wait, what? You aren’t vaccinating because your breeder says you shouldn’t?Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the breeder feeling as though they are looking out for the best interest of the pet (I hope), ultimately they are probably not a vet and should not be making recommendations as such.
Without being able to track for sure how many pet owners aren’t vaccinating, it’s hard to narrow it down. However, there has been a large increase in owners not wanting to vaccinate for anything more than just Rabies, which is required by law in many states for dogs and cats. With there not being any “cure” for the Rabies virus once it has reached a certain point, its important to note that other Zoonotic Diseases should be prevented against, such as Leptospirosis.
Regardless of the reasoning, leaving pets un-vaccinated not only causes harmful risks to other people, but it also causes risks to other animals too. The most important piece of advice I can give to any pet owners is to do your research! And I’m not talking about asking your friends on Social Media or going to Wikipedia or Pet MD. I am talking about reliable sources such as your Vet, the Center for Disease Control websites, AAHA Websites, etc. I will put a few links below for you to read up on if you are interested in learning more about it.
Just remember, this is not me trying to put the pressure on people to vaccinate their animals. This is me, asking you to educate yourself to make a better decision in hopes that it will spare families the pain and heartache of losing their furry family member to something that could have been prevented against or worse, having a loved one contract a Zoonotic disease from their furry family member! I have seen so many people with the look of despair on their face when we tell them what is wrong with their pet, and they have to make the unfortunate decision to euthanize them because they either can’t afford the costly treatments or because the disease is too widespread to treat. It’s truly heartbreaking for anyone in the vet field to witness.