Protecting Your Pet Against Rabies

Every pet owner is familiar with the contagious viral disease known as rabies. From Old Yeller to Cujo, even the thought of rabies strikes fear into any pet parent. Though rabies still affects many wild dogs, horses, raccoons, coyotes, bats, and even people, it is not as widespread as it once was in pets. This is due to increased rabies vaccinations in pets. Click the link for more information on our Free Vaccines for Life program.

Because rabies is less common now, you may be wondering if you should even bother getting your dog or cat vaccinated in the first place. Well stop that thought right now because the answer is that you absolutely should always get your pet vaccinated against rabies (some cities and counties even require it).

Rabies is a deadly disease. It is spread through bites or saliva from already infected animals. Despite what Cujo would have you believe, rabid animals do not always foam at the mouth and act extremely aggressive – though if you do see this, that animal most certainly has the virus.

Animals infected with rabies often appear disoriented, snapping at imaginary things and walking around very unsteadily. Rabid animals can also appear quite tame and not show any visible symptoms or fear of humans. There are some other, more obvious, telltale signs including seeing nocturnal animals, like skunks or raccoons, out during the day.

Vaccinating your pets protects them if they are ever bitten by a rabid raccoon, skunk, or another animal. With the rabies vaccine, your pet will not succumb to the drooling, partial paralysis, and behavioral changes associated with the rabies virus. Most importantly, your pets will be spared from an easily preventable death.

Your pet can first be vaccinated around 12 weeks of age, any time before is not recommended but any time after 12 weeks of age is permissible. If your pet already has been vaccinated, a booster should be administered one year after the initial vaccination and every 3 years thereafter. Boosters are essential not only to provide better immunity as your dog gets older, but for your peace of mind any time your pet is outside interacting with the world.

Rabies shots are incredibly affordable, and even free at some shelters and clinics (like ours!), so there is no reason your furry friend should not be vaccinated. Protect your pet and yourself from exposure to rabies and get your animals vaccinated today.