4 Steps to Protect Your Pet Against Rabies

Have you ever wondered why rabies shots are required, when the disease has gotten somewhat rare? Rabies may very well be the deadliest disease in the world. It’s the only disease that has almost 100% fatality. Just the word “rabies” tends to conjure up some frightening images in the mind’s eye. Worse, rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans, it’s particularly dangerous. Luckily, rabies has been all but eliminated in the United States and many other parts of the world thanks to modern vaccination and wild animal control measures. Still, you’ll need to take the proper precautions to make sure your pet stays safe. Here’s how: 

Vaccinate Your Pet

Your pet’s core vaccination group should include the rabies vaccine. That vaccination is his or her first line of defense against the rabies virus. Puppies and kittens as young as three months old or so can receive their initial rabies vaccination. You’ll need to follow up with boosters, however. Ask your vet for more information. 

Supervise Pets Outdoors

The rabies virus is spread through the bite of another infected animal. So, it’s important to keep a close eye on your pet outdoors in order to stop them from encountering any wild animals, like raccoons or opossums. Keep your pet on a leash when you go on walks, and don’t let them stray too far. If you live in a wooded area or anywhere that wild animals may pass through, don’t let your pet outside unsupervised. 

Spay and Neuter

You may be surprised to learn that having your furry pal spayed or neutered is a good way to prevent the risk of the rabies virus. That’s because spaying and neutering reduces your pet’s urge to run off looking for love. Not only will you avoid the hassle and heartache of a lost pet, you don’t have to worry about them coming in contact with a wild animal that could potentially be rabid. 

Watch for Signs of Illness

The symptoms of rabies include lethargy, loss of appetite, light and touch sensitivity, fever, and uncharacteristic aggressive behavior. Seizures and paralysis can occur if the disease progresses.  Tell your veterinary professional immediately if you see these signs. 

All things considered, the risk of rabies is very low for your pet. But make sure to take the right steps to keep it that way. Call your vet’s office for help! 

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