Rabies Vaccines for Puppies

Rabies is one of the saddest, most painful conditions to watch a pet experience; fortunately, with the advance in technology that has led to rabies vaccines, these outbreaks are much rarer than they once were. However, there are a number of things that you'll need to know about the rabies vaccine before you plan on giving it to your pet. Rabies vaccines are very helpful in protecting your dog from this incurable and deadly disease, but they are also not without their own set of risks. Read on for a brief overview of the rabies vaccine for use in puppies.

Rabies Vaccine Overview

Rabies vaccines are typically given to puppies early on in their development; it is common to give the puppy a vaccination somewhere between1 6 and 26 weeks after birth. The vaccine is a shot that can be administered by any veterinarian. Typically, the puppy will experience no adverse reaction to the shot, but may be somewhat lethargic and grumpy for a day or so. The vaccine sometimes needs to be given in multiple doses in order to be most effective. This depends upon the exact type of rabies vaccine that you give to your puppy; your veterinarian will know exactly what the schedule of doses should be and how often the puppy will need them.


The rabies vaccine is not without a set of its own risks and concerns. Amongst vaccines given to puppies, it is the one with the highest incidence of adverse reactions. These range from mild side effects like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and more, all of which last for only a day or two, up through significant allergic reactions in some pets. If your puppy is experiencing an allergic reaction to the drug, he will likely lose consciousness, have difficulty breathing, begin coughing, develop sores or rashes on his body, or have other more severe symptoms. If this should happen, it's critically important that you take him to a veterinary emergency center right away. Failure to act quickly in this regard may result in serious long term health problems or even in death. While the incidence of long term reactions is greater in puppies for rabies than other vaccines, it's still very uncommon.

Another concern that people have over long term health is that, like some other types of vaccines, the rabies vaccine can very rarely result in a specific type of cyst growth that can lead to types of cancer in dogs. Therefore, it's a good idea to monitor the site at which the vaccine was administered over the next few weeks for any signs of swelling or the development of any growth or cyst.

Generally speaking, although there are some concerns associated with the rabies vaccine and administering it to puppies, it's a good way to go. This is particularly true if your pet will be out of doors and may in contact with wild animals. If the pet will remain inside, speak with your vet about whether the rabies vaccine is necessary.