You can prevent exposing your pets to the rabies virus. The most important thing that people can do is to have their animals vaccinated against rabies and keep those vaccinations up to date. State law requires that you have your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian at 4 months of age. Most veterinarians are now giving 3-year rabies vaccinations. Be sure to keep your pet's rabies certificate as proof that your pet has been vaccinated.
High Risk Animals
High-risk animals for rabies in Texas are skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes and coyotes. Rabbits, hares and small rodents such as squirrels, rats, mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and chipmunks are rarely found to be infected with rabies and have not been known to cause rabies in humans in the United States. Dogs, cats, horses and cattle are the most frequently reported rabid domestic animals in Texas.
The Department of State Health Services also offers this advice:
- Keep cats and ferrets indoors and keep dogs indoors or in a fenced yard.
- Spay or neuter pets to prevent unwanted animals that may not receive proper care from visiting your animals.
- Teach children not to play with any animal that they do not know, even if the animal seems friendly.
- Avoid animals, both domestic and wild, that appear disoriented, fearless or aggressive. Nighttime animals such as bats, raccoons and skunks that are active in the daytime may be sick.
- Do not touch any wild animal that appears ill or dead. If you live inside the city limits of Burleson, call Burleson Animal Services at 817-426-9283.
- Don’t attract wild animals to your yard. Avoid leaving pet food outdoors, and keep garbage in closed containers.
Have domestic ferrets, wolf-dog hybrids and livestock, especially those that are in frequent contact with humans, vaccinated against rabies.
Additional Resources & Links
Informative websites on rabies: