Rabies: What Every Pet Owner Should Know

Protecting your pet from rabies is easy and affordable. Learn about the rabies vaccine and why it’s important.

by PetIQ® Veterinary Council
Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Rabies is a serious but preventable disease. It’s important to know what rabies is and how you can protect yourself and your pet.

What is rabies, and how does my pet get infected?

Rabies is a zoonotic virus. It can be transmitted through the saliva of raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Keep this in mind when you’re on nighttime walks or around areas with outdoor trash. With just one bite, rabies can be passed from animals to humans.

Why should I vaccinate my pet?

Rabies: 100% Fatal Without Treatment
Rabies: Fatal Without Treatment

  • If your dog or cat becomes infected with rabies, it is 100% fatal without immediate treatment. You may not know that your pet is infected until it is too late. The best way to protect your pet is to get them vaccinated.

Fines up to $300
Rabies: Possible Fines

  • Some states have fines up to $300 per pet if they are not vaccinated. Check with your local VIP Petcare® veterinarian or humane society to see what your state requires.

I have an indoor cat. Do they need a rabies vaccination?

It is still recommended to get indoor cats vaccinated for rabies. There are potential circumstances where your cat could become infected with rabies. Bats can enter homes through cracks, or raccoons can break through window screens. Unfortunately, there is also the possibility that your cat can escape whether they intended to or not.

I live in a rural community. What else do I need to know?

If you live outside of town or own a large amount of land, your cat or dog likely roams free. Wild animals are more of a threat, so it’s critical to get your pets vaccinated for rabies.

How to get your dog or cat vaccinated

At VIP Petcare®, you can get your dog or cat vaccinated for rabies at an affordable price and without an appointment.

Dog Vaccination Schedule

  • Puppies vaccinated between 12 and 16 weeks of age depending on the law
  • Booster shot one year later
  • Additional shot every year or every three years depending on local regulations

Vaccination Schedule: Puppies and Kittens, 12 & 16 weeks; Booster one year later; Additional shot every 1-3 years.
Dog & Cat Vaccination Schedule

Cat Vaccination Schedule

  • Single-dose for kittens between 12 and 16 weeks of age depending on the law
  • Booster shot one year later
  • Additional shot every year or every three years, depending on where you live

What is the difference between the one-year and the three-year vaccine?

State and local laws are the determining factor for the amount of time your dog’s vaccination is considered effective. Your local VIP Petcare® veterinarian will make recommendations based on your state’s legal requirements.

If you have more questions about rabies, stop in today.

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