FAQ About Immunization Requirements

vetdogWe’re so excited about the upcoming Windy City Pet Expo! With that said, we want you to be as prepared as possible to enjoy to Expo with your furry, feathered or reptilian family member.

In order to attend the event with a pet, we require that you complete a waiver. While we have them available at the door, you can click here for a copy so you can get in the door more quickly. Print it out and bring it with you!

We also offer a list of helpful tips that we’ve accrued after doing dozens of these events. Click here 

to make sure that you have the most amazing day possible with your best friend!

As you may know, we require all cats and dogs be immunized for rabies in order to attend the event. Here are some FAQ that we’re often asked:

Does my pet have to have be immunized to attend this event?

Every state in the United States has its own laws regarding pet ownership and pet vaccines. Many states require that certain vaccines be obtained before your pet can be registered with the state or county. The most important pet vaccine requirements are those that pertain to rabies since that disease is communicable and can be harmful to humans (and other animals).

There are a number of life-saving vaccines that you should get for your pets, such as those that protect against distemper and parvovirus, but we only require rabies per state law and insurance requirements.

Yes, we require that all cats and dogs be current on age-appropriate rabies vaccines in order to enter the event or you should plan on getting your pet’s vaccines at the event as part of our low-cost vaccine clinic. If you plan to get immunizations at the expo, you’ll still need to complete a pet waiver and our staff will direct you where to go with your pet for shots; we require that you go straight there.

Please note: the abbreviated medical exam that your pet will have at the event (if you plan to get low-cost vaccinations) should not take the place of an annual complete wellness exam done by your own veterinarian. As you may know, preventative veterinary care done in the comfort of your own veterinarian’s practice is the very best way to help ensure that your best pet friend lives a long and healthy life. If you don’t yet have a primary care vet, there will be dozens of veterinarians and animal hospital representatives at the Expo who can provide you with information about their services.

Also, if you’re experiencing a financial hardship and are unable to afford needed veterinary care, Windy City - like most cities - has pet food pantries, low-cost immunizations, free spay and neuter resources and even wonderful rescue groups that offer help so that these four-legged family members can stay right where they belong: with their family.

What do you accept as proof of immunizations?

We accept a number of things! You can provide us with your vet-issued rabies certificate, city/county license, a rabies tag that lists the current year, a receipt of vaccination purchase/label for those who self-vaccinate, a vet receipt that itemizes the vaccination payment, adoption paperwork that lists the pet has current vaccinations or serologic titer results issued from a veterinary clinic.

I don’t believe in getting annual vaccines for my pets. How can I bring my pet to this event?

We recognize that the issue of vaccinating pets can be controversial to those who choose not vaccinate.

Unfortunately, due to state laws and our event insurance requirements, your pet must be vaccinated for rabies, plan to participate in our low-cost vaccine clinic at the event or have current serologic titer results in order to attend the show. Please note that we’re not making a statement about vaccines, one way or another; our job is to keep everyone safe.

I just adopted my pet or have a puppy that I’d like to bring. What should I do?

That’s no problem! Adoption paperwork which shows current vaccinations is just fine to prove that your pet has had its shots.

Our requirements apply to *age-appropriate* immunizations. Puppies and kittens normally aren’t vaccinated for rabies until they’re four months old, so we realize that he or she wouldn’t have been vaccinated for rabies yet if they’re younger than that. Puppies/kittens not yet vaccinated for rabies must be at least 12 weeks old or have two sets of puppy or kitten boosters to attend the event.

However, as much as we’d love to meet your new family member at the Expo, puppies, kittens and other baby mammals have an immature immune system. That means that if another pet, who may be ill or diseased (and may not even be showing symptoms yet), could pass along that illness to your new baby. With that said, if you still choose to bring your puppy or kitten, we urge you to carry it or have it in a closed stroller at the show, limit any interactions with other animals, not allow him/her to drink from communal water bowls or use common pet potty areas and take lots of breaks so as not to overload your precious new buddy. We also recommend using these guidelines if bringing an elderly pet to the event.

In order to attend, all pets must be considered legal household pets in the state of IL, be on a fixed lead or in a contained carrier/stroller at all times, have proof of current age-appropriate rabies vaccinations, and have an indemnification form signed by their guardian before entering the expo. Those planning to arrive with a pet who may not be up-to-date on their vaccines, but plan to get low-cost immunizations, are required to take their pet directly to our vaccine provider before participating in any other event activity. The brief medical exam that your pet will have - if getting vaccines at the expo - should never take the place of a complete annual wellness exam done by your own veterinarian. Please note: Immunizations take a minimum of 14 days to become fully effective, so we urge extreme caution when allowing newly-vaccinated pets to drink from communal water bowls, share pet potty areas, greet possible new pet friends, or take part in any group activities. We also recommend the same level of caution if attending the event with very young or elderly pets.

Service Providers

 dogpoop DogPoopBags.com is generously donating all of the dog poop
bags for our event! 
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Lucky Dogs Lure Coursing is the official Lure Course provider.
windycityreptiles Windy City Reptiles is the official Creature Feature. happiness chews Happiness Chews is the water station provider.
State Farm New Logo 2012 StateFarm™ is the official Agility provider. shinyhappy logo Shiny Happy People Glitter & Matte Tattoos is the official kids area.

 Our Media Sponsors:

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