What You Need to Know About Rabies



Rabies is a scary word for pet owners. Luckily, there are plenty of steps pet parents can take to protect their cats and dogs from the virus.

In honor of World Rabies Day on September 28th, here are a few facts and tips that retailers can share with their customers to help keep pets safe and healthy.


What is rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. Only mammals can contract the virus and it mostly impacts wild animals, such as raccoons, skunks, bats and coyotes. The disease it spread when open wounds come into contact with infected saliva—usually through a bite. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure and the disease is almost always fatal.


How can I protect my pet?

The most important step pet owners can take is getting their cats and dogs vaccinated. Most states actually have laws requiring domestic pets receive the rabies vaccine.

Cats and dogs are usually vaccinated between the ages of three and six months of age, and then again every three years. Talk to your veterinarian about the right vaccination schedule for your pet.


Other helpful prevention tips include:

• Never let pets roam outside unsupervised.

• Spay or neuter your pet to minimize roaming tendencies.

• Avoid leaving trash or pet food outside, since it can attract wild animals.

• Report wild animals acting strangely to local authorities.


To learn more about rabies prevention, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention online.


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