The Rabies Vaccine Does Way More for Your Dog’s Health Than You Ever Knew

It’s standard procedure, as a pet owner, to take your pet for a yearly rabies vaccination, regardless of whether you consider them indoor or outdoor. However, recent research, unearthed by Dogster, suggests that this otherwise status quo shot can actually improve your dog’s overall health, giving you all the more incentive to head to the vet for your annual checkup.


Published in the July 2017 issue of Vaccine, the research reviewed four years’ worth of dogs’ medical records from a South African neighborhood and found that the those that had received rabies shots annually had a lower mortality rate—of up to 56 percent less—than pets who had not received it. Although the rate of 56 percent dropped down to 16 percent the older the animals had gotten, the positive correlation was nonetheless clear.


The researchers hypothesize that the protective association between rabies vaccination status and all-cause mortality is due to a protective effect of rabies vaccine against diseases other than rabies. Therefore, it’s also possible that the vaccine itself is immune boosting, though more research is needed to determine causation between the two.

But just knowing that your dog’s annual rabies vaccine can make him or her healthier should give you enough reason to call the vet ASAP and book Fido’s next checkup, right?


Photo: Justin Veenema on Unsplash

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Rachel Zoldan

Rachel Jacoby Zoldan is a freelance writer and editor living in New York City with her husband two cats, Gerry and Cookie. (Who are, yes, named after a film about dogs.)

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