Research published in the July 2017 issue of the journal Vaccine found that dogs who receive rabies vaccines experience better health overall. The study, which reviewed four years of data on owned dogs living in a low-income community in South Africa, found that the risk of death (from any cause, not just from rabies) was lowered by 56 percent in young puppies (0 to 3 months old), 44 percent in older puppies (4 to 11 months old) and 16 percent in adult dogs (12 months and older).

The researchers hypothesize that the rabies vaccine might boost the immune system, giving dogs non-specific protective effects above and beyond immunity against the rabies virus.

Thumbnail: Photography ©onetouchspark | Getty Images.

Jackie Brown is a freelance writer from Southern California who specializes in the pet industry. Reach her at

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