When it comes to vaccinations for your dog, the rabies vaccine is one of the most important and integral. Is your dog up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations? If not (or if you're not sure), it's time to schedule an appointment with your vet. Meanwhile, there are some things all dog owners should know about the rabies licensing and vaccination.
The Vaccine is Good For 1-3 Years
Depending on the specific injection carried and used by your veterinarian, you can expect the vaccine to be good for anywhere from one to three years. Each time your pet is vaccinated, you should receive an updated vaccination schedule with a "due date" listed for your dog's next vaccine. This way, you can stay up-to-date on which vaccines are needed and when.
You May Need to Keep a Tag on Your Dog's Collar
Some cities and states require that dog owners keep an updated copy of their dog's rabies license on his or her collar. Each time you have your dog vaccinated against rabies, you should receive a small tag with the vaccination lot number and some other information on it. This is the tag you should attach to your dog's collar. Even if not required in your area, it's a good idea to have this tag on your pet's collar, so others know he or she is up-to-date on vaccines--especially if your dog were to run away.
You Could Be Fined if Your Dog Isn't Vaccinated
Many cities and states have specific laws and regulations in place when it comes to vaccinating dogs against rabies, as the disease is considered a public health concern. While nobody is going to be going door-to-door to check that your dog is up-to-date on the rabies vaccine, you can and likely will be fined if your dog escapes from home and is recovered by an Animal Control officer without proof of rabies vaccination. In most cases, your municipal animal shelter will then administer the vaccine to your dog and require payment from you at the time you arrive to retrieve your pet from their care.
Having your dog vaccinated against rabies is one of the best things you can do to protect not just your pet's health, but the health of those around you as well. If your dog needs an updated vaccine or if you're not sure about your pet's vaccination schedule, contact a trusted veterinarian for assistance.