Rabies is more deadly than any other infectious disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is easily preventable with dog vaccines, and yet it still infects and kills both people and animals every year.
In the U.S., most cases of rabies are seen in wildlife, which account for 92% of all rabies cases in the country. That does not mean that our big dogs are safe: if they encounter a rabid animal and do not have their dog vaccines, they are at risk of contracting the usually-fatal disease and exposing other family members to it as well.
“Rabies is still prevalent in wild animals, and clearly, every unvaccinated pet that lives within our family setting has the potential to bring rabies back into our homes,” said Peter Costa, global communications director for the Global Alliance of Rabies Control.
Two things make rabies really dangerous: it spreads easily across species and it is usually fatal. Luckily there are lots of things we can all do to protect our big dog and family from rabies. These 6 tips will dramatically decrease your dog’s chances of contracting rabies:
• Make sure dog vaccines are up-to-date. Low-cost vaccine clinics make it very affordable and convenient.
• Keep other pets, like cats and ferrets, updated on their vaccinations as well. Because rabies spreads across species, it’s important to keep all pets’ vaccines current.
• Keep an eye on dogs when outdoors to prevent their exposure to rabid animals. Keep other pets indoors.
• Spay and neuter your big dogs. This may decrease their desire to roam and minimize their chances of being exposed to rabid wildlife.
• Do not leave open garbage or food outside. This invites wildlife to hang out near your dogs.
• Don’t keep wildlife as pets.
September 28th is World Rabies Day. Please help raise awareness of how dangerous and preventable rabies is by sharing this post. And of course, make sure that your pack is current on their dog vaccines.
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Photo by Shari F on Flickr and used with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.