All About Rabies in Dogs

Rabies is a severe and deadly illness. The best way to safeguard your dog and family is by getting your dog vaccinated against rabies. In this article, our Vancouver veterinarians provide information about this vaccine, including the frequency of booster shots for your dog.

What is Rabies? 

Rabies is a viral illness that can affect both animals and humans. The virus spreads through direct contact with the saliva or brain tissue of an infected animal. In humans, the disease usually transmits by a bite from a rabid animal. 

Rabies is a highly dangerous disease. No live tests can detect its presence, and once symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal.

Most states mandate that dogs receive vaccinations. If your dog is not up-to-date on its rabies vaccine and gets bitten by another animal, state law may require your pet to undergo strict quarantine for a prolonged period or even be put down to ensure the safety of other pets and people. 

That's why it's crucial to keep your dog's vaccinations current.

How Often Does My Dog Need to be Vaccinated for Rabies?

Every state has its own set of laws regarding the rabies vaccine schedule for dogs. Typically, the first dose is administered to puppies aged between 14-16 weeks, followed by a booster shot a year later.

Thereafter, your dog should receive a rabies booster every 1-3 years as per the type of vaccine used and state law. It is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian to determine the frequency of booster vaccinations for your dog.

Why Are Rabies Booster Shots Required?

The purpose of vaccinations is to train the body to identify and fight off diseases by producing an immune response. This response is designed to locate and eliminate any viruses that may enter your dog's body.

However, over time, the immune response becomes less effective. To maintain your dog's protection, booster vaccines are necessary to strengthen their immunity.

Can a Vaccinated Dog Get Rabies?

Although rabies vaccinations are highly effective, they cannot provide a 100% guarantee of protection. Therefore, even though the likelihood of a vaccinated dog contracting rabies is extremely low, it is still possible.

To prevent this disease, it is best to ensure that your dog's rabies vaccines are always up to date and to avoid allowing your dog to interact with wild animals.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Make sure your furry friend is up-to-date on their vaccines by contacting our vets in Vancouver today.