How can you prevent rabies in animals?
There are several things you can do to protect your pet from rabies.
First, visit your veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis and keep rabies vaccinations up-to-date for all cats, ferrets, and dogs.
Second, maintain control of your pets by keeping cats and ferrets indoors and keeping dogs under direct supervision.
Third, spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or vaccinated regularly.
Finally, call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood since these animals may be unvaccinated or ill.
The importance of vaccinating your pet
While wildlife are much more likely to be rabid than are domestic animals in the United States, people have much more contact with domestic animals than with wildlife. Your pets and other domestic animals can be infected when they are bitten by rabid wild animals, and this type of “spillover” increases the risk to people.
Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination will prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife, and thereby prevent possible transmission to your family or other people.
Moving out of the United States
If you are bringing your pet into the United States, you may be subject to CDC regulations that govern the importation of animals capable of causing human disease. (For example, dogs coming from countries considered high risk for importing dog rabies must have a valid rabies vaccine certificate to enter.)
If you are planning to move out of the country and take your pets with you, you should consult with the embassy of your destination country to see what regulations they have for importing pets.