Do my pets really need rabies vaccination?

If your pets are not vaccinated against rabies, you expose your family and pets to a significant risk of this nearly-always fatal disease.

Why Rabies Vaccinations Are Crucial.
Rabies is 99.9% fatal, if not treated immediately.
Up to 60% of all rabies deaths occur in children under 15 years of age.
Not only endemic to “wild” areas of Africa, rabies has been reported throughout the country, becoming a serious risk even to South African families living in suburban areas.
95% of human rabies cases result from a bite from an infected dog or contamination of broken skin or mucous membranes with saliva from an infected animal.
Dogs can easily become infected in a fight with an infected unknown/stray animal, which could take place even through fences.

Rabies is 100% preventable.
The good news is that rabies is 100% preventable. This is the message celebrated on World Rabies Day, held each year on 28 September. Preventing rabies is as simple as regularly vaccinating dogs, cats and other animals that come into contact with humans.

In South Africa, by law, dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age, with a booster vaccination within 1 year of age, and then boosted every 3 years thereafter.
Protect your family and your pets by making an appointment with your local veterinarian for a rabies vaccination for your pets. Alternatively, visit or for a list of contact numbers for provincial veterinary services.

Suspect a Rabies Case?
Behavioral changes such as restlessness, irritability, excitability, shyness or ‘Mad Dog Syndrome’ such as foaming at the mouth, growling or aggression may indicate rabies in a pet.
If your dog has been bitten, consult your veterinarian immediately!
If you or one of your family members is bitten by a rabid animal and the skin is broken, thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water for at least 10 minutes, apply an antiseptic ethanol or iodine, and seek medical help immediately. Don’t delay!