Does My Dog Really Need the Rabies Vaccine?

The Rabies virus is spread through wounds, or via the saliva of a rabid animal, and causes symptoms such as: overly vicious or timid behavior, lack of coordination and difficulty swallowing. Once these symptoms appear, the disease is fatal.
While there is an effective post-exposure treatment for humans, there is none for animals.

An unvaccinated dog that is exposed to rabies must be destroyed or quarantined for six months under strict guidelines.
A vaccinated dog is well protected from contracting rabies but should be quarantined for a brief time if exposed to rabies. Laws in most states require rabies immunization in dogs and cats. Puppies should have their first rabies vaccine at 3 to 4 months of age, with boosters 9 to 12 months later and then every year or 3 years as required by law.

If your dog or cat is not up to to date – we recommend that you schedule an appointment for the rabies vaccine (and potentially all vaccines and heartworm test if possible).