Dog Bite Liability: The Great Vaccination Debate
Most people are aware of the vaccination debate as it pertains to children. Although vaccines have virtually wiped out a number of diseases that used to plague this country, many parents are fearful that they may cause harm to a child’s developing immune system, causing illnesses they may not have gotten otherwise. The vaccine controversy is not just confined to the human medical field, though.
Lately, pet parents have been questioning whether or not they should get their dog vaccinated, or at least vaccinated as often as they do. There’s no question that vaccinations for diseases such as Parvovirus and Rabies have played an important role in veterinary medicine, literally saving animals lives, but the question is how good these vaccines are for our four-legged friends?
Jean Dodds, DVM, a pioneer in vaccine protocol studies, suggests through her research that at least 95% of dogs actually retain immunity against certain viruses (Rabies, Distemper, and Parvovirus) for years after being vaccinated. Some supporters of her research fear that over vaccinating, or vaccinating pets at all, could cause issues such as cancer, allergies, and infections.
Rodney Habib, a dog owner who is one of many that believes routine immunizations do more harm than good, says that he only gets his dogs their rabies shots because they’re required by law, but foregoes the remaining core vaccines and opts instead for titer tests. These are blood tests that measure the level of antibodies the dogs have against various pathogens. These tests are significantly pricier than vaccines, and must be performed every three years or so.
While Habib feels that these tests are worth the costs, he does stress that his anti-vaccination decision and opinions are based on discussions with veterinarians and animal immunologists. He also stressed that if he ever had children, he will ask a lot of questions before deciding on a vaccine schedule that he considers necessary and safe.
Regardless of where you stand on the vaccination debate, rabies is a legally necessary vaccine for all pets. Not getting this vaccine would further complicate a situation should your dog bite a person. Even if your dog has never bitten before, there is still always that chance. The right kind of dog bite liability insurance policy will protect you financially should this type of incident occur. However, it’s a dog owner’s responsibility to prevent their guests and other pets their dog may encounter from obtaining further injury exacerbated by a preventable illness.
F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc. offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only that specializes in Dog Bite Liability Insurance programs that will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year. To learn more about our policies and what to do if ever faced with a dog bite claim, please visit ourClaim Info page and contact us at (855) 534-6495.