After the holidays, pet vaccination schedules are probably one of the last things on most people's minds! However, with pet license renewals looming in the near future for many pet owners, it’s important to make sure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccines.
Although there is data to suggest that most vaccines protect our pets for many years, US state laws still require dogs and cats to be re-vaccinated against rabies often. Without proof of an up to date rabies vaccine, pet owners will be unable to obtain yearly pet licenses, which are also required by law in most cities and towns. How often your pet is vaccinated against rabies can depend on how diligent owners are about keeping their pet’s vaccines up to date. That is because, if re-vaccinated before their current vaccine expires, most pets, after receiving an initial 1-year shot, will be able to receive a 3-year rabies booster rather than having to receive the shot annually. All US states now allow 3-year rabies vaccines, however some individual cities/towns may still require annual or 2 year rabies vaccines instead.
Do your own research, and talk to your pet’s vet, to decide what vaccine schedule is right for your pet. No matter what vaccine schedule you choose, follow local laws and keep your pet’s rabies vaccine up to date to avoid possibly receiving fines from your city/town, and to make sure your pet is protected in case of a bite incident.
Many NJ cities/towns run yearly low cost, or free, rabies clinics for local residents. You can try contacting your local city/town government to inquire if they provide vaccination clinics for resident's pets. Liberty Humane Society, in Jersey City NJ, also routinely holds Wellness Clinics where you can get your pet a rabies shot for $20.