Why It’s Important for Pets To Be Vaccinated for Rabies

If a person has a pet, one of the last threats they may be worried about is rabies. After all, the disease mainly impacts animals in the wild. Because an individual keeps their dog or cat inside a majority of the time, and they’re careful of the animals they let their pet around, they can probably skip on vaccinating their pet for rabies, right? The truth is that no matter whether a person has a cat or dog, or if their pet is allowed inside, it’s vital to be sure they vaccinate their pets for rabies.

It May Be a State Requirement

Depending on which state a person lives in, they may have no choice but to vaccinate their pet. Doing so is the law in a majority of states, but not all of them. Get in touch with a veterinarian to determine if the state requires the owner to vaccinate their pets. Even if they didn’t have to in the past, the law may have changed.

Also, if a person plans on traveling in the future and want to take their dog with them, do some research. The country or state they’re traveling to could have a high percentage of rabies outbreaks, in which case they’ll want to be sure to handle all necessary vaccinations for their pet before they leave.

A Pet’s Owner Has To Follow the Vaccination Schedule

Say that an individual has already had theyr pet vaccinated. If so, they have to remember that there could very well be a schedule they need to stick to for the vaccination to be truly effective. For instance, there are both one-year and three-year vaccines. While both can be administered to cats and dogs when they are as young as three months, both also require boosters. The one-year vaccine for dogs needs a yearly booster while the three-year vaccine requires another dose a year after the initial dose, then boosters every three years after that. This is something else an owner will need to inquire about if they plan on traveling with their pet to a different country.

In regards to the vaccination schedule for cats, they can receive two doses a year apart when they’re eight weeks old, but that is ultimately determined by the specific vaccine. Depending on regulations, boosters are necessary either every year or every three years.

No matter which type of vaccine an owner chooses or whether it’s a dog or cat being vaccinated, the rabies antibodies need time to build up in a pet’s bloodstream. That time period is usually about 20 to 30 days. That window is the perfect time to look into getting rabies tags for a pet, so others know she or he has been properly vaccinated.

Mother Nature Can Stumble Into A Home

Even indoor pets are vulnerable to rabies. How? A person never knows when a bat or raccoon may find its way into their home through a vent or the chimney. They also never know whether such wildlife could carry rabies and expose their indoor dog or cat. An ounce of prevention (or a shot, in this case) is most certainly worth a pound of cure.

There Is No Cure

Currently, there is no cure for rabies. What that means is that if a pet is exposed to rabies, it will have to be kept under quarantine for six months. Worse, a person might have to euthanize their pet. Few things are more painful than having to put down a beloved pet. Even after the six-month quarantine, they may still harbor concerns in the back of their mind about their pet’s health for the rest of its life. With so much at stake, an owner owes it to themselves and to their pet to do what’s right and get it vaccinated.

Dogs Are the Main Carriers

All sorts of animals can carry the rabies virus, but there’s no denying that dogs are the main carrier. Roughly 90% of all human cases of rabies are due to dog bites, and most of those instances are children. Vaccinating a pet and keeping up with follow-up booster shots is going the extra mile to care for a pet as well as children, if a person has them or are thinking about having them.

Rabies Kill Humans

If someone is bitten by a rabid animal and is unable to receive proper treatment, that person will likely die. If a dog is exposed to rabies and bites someone, that person may not immediately show symptoms. And even if that person does, she or he may not immediately attribute symptoms to rabies. It’s always best to head a potential disaster off at the pass, so to keep a clear conscious.

Talk to the veterinarian about rabies vaccination for a dog or cat. Even if the pet has been vaccinated in the past, they may be overdue for a booster. Either that, or there could be a medical breakthrough since the last time the pet was vaccinated. Know for sure that the family pet is safe from rabies exposure.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.