Rabies Inoculation Schedule for Dogs

by Betty Lewis
When your pup's reached 3 months of age, he can have his first rabies shot.

When your pup's reached 3 months of age, he can have his first rabies shot.

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One of the rites of passage for a puppy is his first shots. It can all be very confusing, knowing what shots he gets when. Fortunately, after his first birthday things get easier to keep track of. The rabies vaccination is considered a must-have and its frequency is determined by where you live.

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The rabies vaccine is a core vaccine, considered essential for every dog based on the seriousness of the disease, a dog's risk of exposure and the transmissibility to people. Other core vaccines are distemper, parvovirus and canine hepatitis. If your pup is at least 3 months old, he's old enough for his first rabies shot and he'll be good until he's a year old. After his first birthday, his inoculation schedule is determined by where you live. No matter where you live, every state has laws requiring rabies shots for dogs. However, state and local laws vary widely across the U.S.; some local ordinances require annual rabies inoculation, while others require vaccination at three-year intervals. If you aren't sure what the requirements are for your hometown, a call to your local animal control office will fill you in on what you need to know. Your vet will also understand the laws and can provide you with paperwork and tags certifying your dog has been vaccinated according to law.

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