Take a Shot at Responsible Dog Care: How Rabies Vaccinations Should Be a Top Priority

February 4, 2019

One of the most important tenants of dog ownership is keeping your dog safe.

No kidding, right?

A key part of that safety is keeping your dog free from disease, particularly a disease that has no known cure: Rabies. Rabies attacks the central nervous system and results in paralysis and eventual death, and can be passed from animals to humans. The solution is prevention. Rabies vaccinations are available at your veterinarian and other places. Rabies vaccinations are required for all dogs in the United States, although conditions can vary by state and county. Learn more about rabies and your dog care responsibility below.

  1. Escambia County law mandates that all cats, dogs, and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian with a United States Department of Agriculture-approved rabies vaccine for use in these species.
  2. Just because you can buy the rabies vaccination from almost anywhere, it is not valid unless it is administered by a licensed veterinarian with a United States Department of Agriculture-approved rabies vaccine for use in these species.
  3. There are several local low-cost options for people to get a valid vaccination for their animals (EZ Clinic, Humane Society, Pet Vaccination Clinic at Tractor Supply Co.) to name a few.
  4. The first vaccination has to be a 1-year shot, but after that you can get 3-year shots as long as there is no lapse in the timeline.
  5. Each domestic dog (and cat) in Escambia County is required to wear a metal serial numbered county tag to the collar or harness of the animal at all times. The county tag is valid for a 1-year period from date of the rabies inoculation. The shape and the color of the tag varies each year. If you get a 3-year vaccination, you’ll be issued 3 annual tags.
  6. You should call Animal Control (Escambia County Animal Control, 850-595-0097) if you suspect an animal is a stray, as it may not be vaccinated for rabies and has a higher risk of exposure to wild animals who carry the disease. Likewise, if you or someone you know has been bitten, you are encouraged to report the injury to Animal Control as well as seek medical attention promptly.

All dogs at Hair of the Dog Pensacola are required to have up-to-date rabies vaccinations, and we keep copies of each dog’s rabies certificate on file as proof. You can relax knowing that all people and their canine companions are safe at our dog park. Contact us if you have any questions.


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