What Age Do Puppies Get Rabies Shot?

All dog owners worry about their puppy’s health, and that’s why the first thing to ask the vet is, “When should we give him his vaccinations and especially what age do puppies get a rabies shot?” And we always find the vet not very excited about that question. However, have we ever looked at the vaccination from another perspective?

“Puppies can get rabies shot at the age of 3 months old or 6 months old depending on the manufacturer of the vaccination. Although Rabies became a rare virus, it’s best to never skip the annual vaccination for your dog to make sure that he’s always in the best of health.”

At What Age Does A Puppy Get A Rabies Shot

Puppies can get a rabies shot from 3 months old or from 6 months old, depending on the Vaccination Type. Some manufacturers make vaccinations suitable for puppies of 3 months old, and others make it ideal for 6+ months old.

Depending on the health of your dog, the vet will recommend the best time for your dog.

Please note that you should re-give your dog the vaccination yearly at the same time of the year. Often your vet will send you a reminder.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a virus that affects all mammals, not necessarily Dogs or Cats only, but it can also infect humans. It infects the brain and the spinal cord, and unfortunately, there is no cure for such a disease.

What Are Symptoms Of Rabies

Actually, a dog with Rabies can be identified very easily. He will become aggressive, unfriendly, autistic, and it will lose interest in food.

He will never feel comfortable being around you and will always try to hide and stay alone and might bite you if you wanted to reach him. He will be sensitive to touch, light, and sound, which is pretty standard in a lot of viruses that infect dogs.

How Can A Dog Get Rabies?

Rabies is an infectious virus which means it can only get transferred by infection. Rabies is pretty common among wild animals, and therefore if your pet has a wound and interacted with a wild animal, he can get infected. Also, Rabies is known to transfer through bites and stool.

However, your dog can never get Rabies on its own without getting it from an infected animal.

Treatment Of Rabies

Unfortunately, Rabies has no treatment. Once your dog catches Rabies, he will live with it for a few weeks then die. Most vets will advise to put down the dog so he won’t infect the owner or other dogs.

Also, know that the Rabies shot is only a vaccination. This means you can’t give it to your dog after being infected and hope that he will get better because he won’t. That’s why we never recommend skipping the Rabies shot, as we will cover in the next section.

Should puppies get A rabies shot?

Definitely yes in order to make sure that your puppy is healthy. However, a lot of people say that you can ignore this vaccination (but don’t do it) because Rabies isn’t here that much anymore.

If you are living in the US, for example, only 0.05% of the pets were infected by Rabies last year. On the other hand, if you are living in Africa or South America, 24% of the pets are infected by Rabies. Here is the table to show rabies percentages in each continent:

ContinentRabies Percentage
Africa24% of the pets die of Rabies.
EuropeWestern Europe are Rabies Free and Eastern Europe has 0.0002% of the pets dead of Rabies lsat year.
South America22% of the pets die of Rabies
North America0.05% of the pets die of Rabies
Asia45% of the pets and animals have been diagnosed with Rabies last year.

I am not telling you this to ignore the rabies shot. I am just telling you not to worry that much about this shot because actually, your pet is safe even without this shot. However, there is a percentage that your pet might actually get infected by Rabies, so we must make sure that our pets are safe. And we know that to protect your dog is better than losing him.

Rabies shots last from 1 to 3 years, depending on the dog’s age and immunity system. However, it’s best to give him the vaccination annually or work with your vet to determine the best period for your dog!

What should you do for your dog after vaccination?

First, some dogs have specific reactions to some vaccines. That’s why you should never allow the dog to go outside after taking a vaccine.

It’s best to wait 24 hours to see if your dog has developed weird signs.

After the vaccination, you will notice that your pet is sluggish. He will be uncomfortable, and he won’t play a lot. He may also refuse to eat, and that’s pretty normal. You may even notice that your dog limps on his leg due to vaccination.

However, if your dog started to vomit or has any weird signs like coughing or diarrhea, make sure to run to the vet to check his health.

Generally, it’s better to wait 1 week before your dog might interact with other dogs so that you are sure that the vaccination is right and working, and you needn’t worry about him.

Skipping the annual rabies vaccination myth

A lot of owners and especially the experienced ones, skip the annual vaccination as they believe that it’s better for the dog’s health. Please, never do this.

This can be accepted in the first two years. However, once your dog starts to hit senior age, he will suffer a lot and may get infected with Rabies.

Can puppies Under 3+ months get rabies?

I am asked this question frequently by a lot of new owners. Puppy nipping is normal behavior for a new puppy and it happens for a variety of reasons including:

  • Teething
  • Playing behavior
  • Curiosity
  • Anxiety

There are many more reasons. However, not because your puppy is trying to bite you, that means he has Rabies. I see a lot of Facebook posts asking that their puppies have bitten them and whether they should see a doctor to treat the wound or not.

Please, don’t panic. Puppies are very safe if you don’t allow them to go out before they are 3.5 months old, and there is no way they can catch Rabies.


Although Rabies is from a virus that became nearly rare, it’s still threatening dogs and people.

That’s why I advise you to never skip the vaccines and make sure that your dog is always protected.

The age when dogs can get Rabies varies from 3-6 months. However, consult your vet to know what the best age is for your puppy.

Make sure to check our latest article about puppy neutering and stay tuned for our next articles. ?

Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

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