Being a pet owner is serious business. Animals depend on their human owners to feed them, medicate them, care for them when they are sick and provide companionship that most animals are more than willing to return.
None of that is breaking news, of course. It’s more like common sense. If you are going to make a dog or cat part of your family, you should care for them. That means vaccinating them against rabies, among other things.
In Garner recently, a rapid raccoon exposed a family and an unvaccinated dog, in an incident that could have far-ranging effects for that family. Rabies vaccinations are so common that they are not terribly expensive and they are a wonderful safeguard for the animals that you love.
We get that it can be a difficult thing to remember that it’s time for Fido’s rabies vaccines. Typically, the animal only gets vaccinated once a year for the first couple years. After that the vaccines are good for three years.
It’s easy enough to forget that it’s time to get a booster.
But most animal hospitals keep those records and they are good about sending reminders. It’s up to us to make sure we follow through and get our pets the care they need. It’s not really a luxury. It’s an obligation. Animals are required to have vaccinations for rabies, which can be transferred to humans.
Rabies is no matter to be taken lightly. A person or animal infected by the rabies virus will die. They will die a horrible, painful death. Certainly, we don’t want our pets to suffer that fate and it would be far worse if a family member is exposed to the rabies virus.
As our communities grow more urban and suburban, the chances of crossing a wild animal infected with rabies grows greater. It’s unlikely you could anticipate that chance meeting and avoid it. If you wait until tomorrow or next week, you could very well have waited one day or one week too late.
If you’ve ever been forced to go through the medical regimen to get yourself vaccinated against rabies, you know the cost, pain and aggravation is much more serious than simply taking the dog or cat to the veterinarian’s office and getting a single shot.
So, do the right thing. Vaccinate your pets. Take responsibility like a good pet owner should.