How Often Do Dogs Need Rabies Shots?

Answered by Dr. Jean Hofve

Well, the rabies vaccine is required by law pretty much everywhere. You can contact your local animal control and find out what the legal requirements are for dogs in your area. 

Rabies is a public health hazard, and it is endemic in wildlife throughout the United States. It is very important that your dog be vaccinated for rabies. Killed virus vaccines that are available. There are no other kinds at this point. They are effective, but it does require both of the two shot initial puppy series at least within a year of each other. This is how you get full immunity. Now, how long that immunity lasts is up for debate. Holistic veterinarians believe that— I’m one of them— that the rabies vaccines once your dog is fully immunized last for 5 to 7 years or more. 

However it is important to comply with the laws in your jurisdiction. If your adult dog has a medical condition, like autoimmune disease or cancer, then it may be possible to have your veterinarian write a letter exempting your dog from the rabies vaccine. This does not work in all places but it is worth a shot if you want to minimize your dog vaccinations. I hope this helped!

Hi, I’m Dr. Jean Hofve with Thank you.

    DISCLAIMER: Holistic Actions! does not provide advice on certified medical treatments. Content is intended for informational purposes only and to equip you with the tools needed for Holistic Medical Decision Making (HMDM). It is not a substitute for clinical assessment, diagnosis, or treatment. Never use content found on the Holistic Actions! website as the basis for ignoring advice from your veterinarian to seek treatment. If you think you may have a veterinary emergency, please call your vet or an animal hospital immediately.


    dr.jean hofve, holistic pet care

    Dr. Jean

    Holistic veterinarian and author Dr. Jean Hofve has more than 20 years’ experience in integrative veterinary medicine. She has a passion for feline health and nutrition, and has intensively studied and researched pet nutrition and the pet food industry since the early 1990s.

    She has written books,  dozens of articles and been interviewed for print, radio, and television around the world. She is an advisor to AAFCO, the organization that sets standards for pet food production, and founder of Spirit Essences (now owned and operated by Jackson Galaxy), which makes flower essence remedies for many animal health and behavior problems. 

    You might also like…

    Ask a Vet Q&A Session 2/23/2024

    Drs. Jeff Feinman and Christina Chambreau join forces to tackle pet guardian questions. From allergies to understanding symptoms - and what you can do. Here are a few links to the resources that were mentioned during the webinar: ​How to find and choose a Holistic...

    What Foods Should I Avoid Feeding My Dog?

    Answered by Dr. Christina Chambreau Commercial Foods The most important for me, with 45 years of experience in the veterinary field, is to avoid feeding commercial foods to your dog which include kibble or canned food. Those really caused the most long-term damage....