Rabies and Pet Doors

A recent story on boston.com about a 73-year-old woman in Hingham, Massachusetts, who was attacked by a rabid raccoon serves as a reminder of two things — the importance of rabies shots, and the danger of leaving pet doors unsecured.

Of course the rabies in this story was beyond anyone’s control — the raccoon involved in the attack was a wild animal and not a pet. But it’s a good reminder that your pet needs his or her first rabies shots between the ages of 4 and 6 months, and then again annually or every three years, depending on the laws of your state.

The other issue involves the pet door. Pet doors are extremely convenient for outdoor pets who are accustomed to coming and going as they please. But it’s important to remember to shutter the pet door before you go to bed. Animals like rats and raccoons generally stay away when there’s activity in the house, but once everyone is asleep and they’re afforded the cover of darkness, they grow bolder. They’ll sneak in and eat from a pet’s food dish and sometimes, as illustrated in the story, attack.

Always be certain that the pet door is secured, both at night and when the house will be empty for extended periods. Your pet may not like it, but better safe than sorry.

For more than 20 years, Willard Veterinary Clinic has provided dedicated veterinary care for the communities of Quincy, Boston, Dorchester, Milton, Braintree, Weymouth, Canton, Randolph, Hingham, Abington, Hanover, and Rockland. Contact us to see why we’re different!

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