Are Pet Rabies Vaccinations Still Important?

It's true that rabies is not as widespread as it once was, though it still affects many wild dogs, raccoons, bats, and skunks. Some pet owners believe that because it isn’t as common, or because their pet stays mostly indoors, they can opt out of getting this life-saving vaccination.

This is a grave mistake, while rabies is easily treated in humans (if caught early), there is no cure for infected pets. This means that if a rabid animal bites your pet, or licks their claws and scratches your pet, the virus will be passed along and eventually kill your furry companion.

What to Look Out For

When people think of rabid animals, their first thought is of a vicious, aggressive animal that is foaming at the mouth. While this is a huge red flag of an infected animal, it is not the only sign. Rabid animals usually appear disoriented in some way, walking unsteadily or biting and snapping at imaginary things around them.

Some animals do not show any visible symptoms and appear unusually tame and unafraid of humans. A small but obvious sign of an infected animal is when a nocturnal creature, such as a racoon, is out during the day. If you see this, call your local animal control immediately.

When to Vaccinate?

12 weeks is the minimum age a dog or cat can be eligible for the rabies vaccine. Any time before 12 weeks is not advisable, but if your pet is 3 years or even 12 years old and hasn’t been vaccinated yet, it is safe and strongly encouraged.

One year after the initial vaccination, your pet should receive a booster and then another every 3 years of their life. This is to ensure they have the strongest protection if they ever come in contact with a rabid animal.

Are Rabies Vaccines Expensive?

No! Rabies shots are incredibly affordable, most likely because your city or county requires it and it is crucial for public good. Rabid animals are a danger to humans as well as pets.

When your pet is vaccinated, you can have peace of mind that your furry friend will not suffer the paralysis, behavioral change, and eventual death that comes with rabies. There is no reason your pet should not be vaccinated. Contact us today for your pet’s rabies vaccine!