Texas Law on Dog Vaccines

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Texas law doesn't mandate any canine vaccines -- with one important exception. By the age of 4 months, all dog and cats must receive a rabies vaccination. The Texas Department of State Health Services does recommend that pet owners check with their veterinarians "about other vaccines that are available for a wide range of diseases in these animals."

Vaccination Protocols

State law requires that a dog receive his second vaccination one year after the primary inoculation. After that, he must receive a rabies booster vaccination every three years.

Tip

  • Some Texas municipalities require annual rabies vaccinations. Check with your local animal control department or Board of Health to find out whether or not your pet must receive a yearly rabies vaccination.

Potential Rabies Exposure

If your dog is potentially exposed to rabies, either via a bite from a wild animal or a non-vaccinated canine, Texas law considers your dog's rabies vaccination current if the first injection was administered within 30 days before the incident. If your dog was previously vaccinated but is overdue for his booster shot, he is not considered current on his rabies vaccine. If not current, your dog is subject to much tougher quarantine restrictions than an animal considered vaccinated. That includes confinement in a veterinary facility or kennel rather than at home -- and possible euthanization.

Entering the Lone Star State

Any dog brought into Texas from another state or country past the age of 3 months must have a current rabies vaccination. You must provide the rabies vaccination certificate, which includes the vaccination date, type of vaccine and the veterinarian's signature. While veterinarians practicing in Texas must use U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved rabies vaccines, a dog can still enter the state from another country if the type of rabies vaccine meets that country's standards. Still, he must immediately receive an USDA-approved rabies inoculation from a U.S. veterinarian.

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