Which Vaccinations Do Dogs and Cats Need?
Distemper and parvo virus are the two chief core viruses most dogs need a vaccination for. The two-in-one parvo/distemper vaccination given at eight, 12, and at 16 weeks of age should offer long-term protective immunity for most puppies. Other vaccines, such as vaccines for adenovirus, coronavirus, Bordatella, influenza, giardia, and leptospirosis are usually not needed in most cases.
For cats, the feline panleukopenia virus is the main vaccination that is needed. Injectable feline rhinotracheitis and feline calici virus are not nearly as effective as the feline panleukopenia vaccination. The three-in-one vaccaintion for panleukopenia/rhinotracheitis/calici virus given at eight, 12, and 16 weeks should offer long-term protective immunity for most kittens.
Due to the human health risk and legal requirements, all pets must be vaccinated for rabies after four months of age. Rabies boosters are given again when your pet is one years old, and then again every three years as required by law in most states. Pets with chronic diseases and cancer may sometimes be eligible for medical exemptions from rabies vaccination, because in those cases the risk of vaccination may outweigh the benefits.