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
Although the majority of rabies cases occur in wildlife, most humans are given rabies vaccine as a result of exposure to domestic animals. This explains the tremendous cost of rabies prevention in domestic animals in the United States.
While wildlife are more likely to be rabid than are domestic animals in the United States, the amount of human contact with domestic animals greatly exceeds the amount of contact with wildlife.
Your pets and other domestic animals can be infected when they are bitten by rabid wild animals. When “spillover” rabies occurs in domestic animals, the risk to humans is increased.
Pets are vaccinated by your veterinarian to prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife, and thereby transmitting it to humans.
Moving out of the United States
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.
- Page last reviewed: April 22, 2011
- Page last updated: April 22, 2011
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