Rabies. Just the word can strike fear into a pet owner. This contagious viral disease used to be much more widespread and still affects mammals including dogs, horses, cats, raccoons, coyotes, bats, and people. Wild animals and pets alike can get and carry the disease with deadly effects.
Your city or county laws may require that you vaccinate your dog against rabies. If not, however, it's still vital that you get your dog vaccinated against this frightening disease. Here are a few of the commonly asked questions about the rabies vaccine, as well as some important information for dog owners.
Should My Dog Be Vaccinated Against Rabies?
The short answer to this question is a resounding yes. The rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine, meaning that it should be administered to all domestic dogs. Rabies is a fatal disease for dogs and can develop quickly, and can easily infect pet owners as well.
When Should I Vaccinate?
The first vaccination for rabies should occur around 12 weeks of age for dogs, but should not be administered before 12 weeks. If your dog is older than 12 weeks, you can request the rabies vaccination at any time.
How Often Should I Vaccinate?
It is recommended that a booster is administered to your dog a year after the initial vaccination, and then every three years unless area regulations require something different. The three-year boosters are essential and should not be overlooked. Work with your veterinarian for regular vaccine reminders.
Should I Vaccinate More Often In Some Circumstances?
If you're concerned that your pet may have come into contact with a rabies-infected animal or is in particular danger, you should take your dog to the vet clinic and ask about a booster. There is no evidence to indicate that a booster earlier than the three-year mark provides better immunity, but a vaccine booster can still provide peace of mind.
If you have any questions about your dog's exposure or immunity to rabies, we'd be happy to help. Contact us today.