Do Rabies Shots Go in a Dog's Rear or Front?

Rabies vaccination is mandated by state and local law.
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Although it's always important to keep your dog up-to-date on his vaccinations, in most jurisdictions your dog must be current on his rabies inoculation by law. The protocol for vaccination administration is based more on felines than canines, since cats might develop tumors at the injection site.


Rabies is fatal unless vaccine is administered within a short time of its transmission. It is transmitted via saliva, usually in the form of a bite, from the rabid animal to another animal or person. If your dog isn't current on his rabies vaccination and bites someone, he'll have to be quarantined for at least 10 days.


According to the University of Tennessee, the rabies vaccination should be given subcutaneously on the right rear limb. While that's the likely area for the vaccination if your vet administers the shot, it might not be the case if you take your dog to a local rabies clinic. Your dog might receive a shot in the hindquarters, rather than the leg, because of time constraints.



Dogs initially receive a rabies shot good for one year. After that, dogs usually receive a three-year vaccine, but state law might require more frequent vaccinations.