Types of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs

Rabies vaccines are the single and best way of treating and preventing rabies infections in dogs and humans, as well as in other pets too. Rabies is a very dangerous viral disease that is always fatal if not treated promptly. It is spread quickly between animals and can easily be passed from an animal to a human being as well.

The virus attacks the brain and the central nervous system, resulting in painful and damaging mental and physical repercussions. One of the best ways that you have to prevent your pet from contracting this fatal condition is through a rabies vaccine. There are two types of rabies vaccines, and it's the law that every pet in the United States must receive one of them.

Preventative Vaccine for Dogs

The law stipulates that every pet animal in the United States must receive a preventative rabies vaccine. Different states and vets will have unique requirements about when your pet must receive this vaccine, and the way that it is shown that your pet has received the vaccine may vary as well. Specifically, most states will provide vets with rabies collars to add to your dog's identifying tags and which show that you have provided your pet with the preventative vaccine.

The preventative vaccine for rabies is typically given in two different doses. Depending upon your pet's overall health, his breed, and the preferences of your vet, you'll likely give him the first round of shots for the vaccine when he is between three months and six months of age. Determine with your vet before you acquire your dog or when he is a newborn when you should have him vaccinated. The second round of vaccine is necessary to ensure that your pet is fully protected against the disease and is commonly given at 1 year of age. Additional booster shots may be necessary every few years following.

Emergency Rabies Vaccine

For those pets that may have been adopted off of the street or that have not had the preventative vaccine, there is a second vaccine in the event that your dog contracts the rabies virus. If your pet has had contact with another animal that suffers from rabies, you'll need to give him a vaccine to protect against the infection. This must be done as quickly as possible after that contact in order to protect your pet from suffering from the disease. Waiting for too long after contact will result in the vaccine not being effective and the disease killing your pet.

In most cases, you will not need to worry about the emergency vaccine. However, if your pet is diagnosed with rabies, you may need to be vaccinated against the virus in this way as a preventative measure. Speak with your doctor about the necessity of the human rabies vaccine in these types of situations. A vet can answer questions about your dog's rabies vaccine.