Every pet owner has a responsibility to their pet to keep their vaccinations up to date. There’s a wide range of vaccinations needed by both cats and dogs. The specific needs of your pet should be discussed with your veterinarian and will vary based upon such things as whether your pet is strictly indoors, outside to go to the bathroom, or outside most or all of the time. There may also be concerns specific to where you live.

While cats and dogs mostly need different vaccines, rabies being a notable vaccine that both animals should get, the vaccination schedules for the two animals are fairly similar. Dogs and cats just starting with vaccinations will need a booster three to four weeks after the initial shots. From there on out, both animals have one set of vaccines that require annual booster shots, and a different set of vaccines for which the booster shots are typically administered once every three years.

The best course of action is to start your pets vaccinations when they are kittens or puppies. If the mother was vaccinated, her colostrum will serve as the pups’ or kittens’ first vaccination, which will last for about six to ten weeks, after which the animals’ immune systems require shots to help them create antibodies. Booster shots are typically given to young animals every three to four weeks until they are three to four months old. Kittens need a feline infectious peritonitis vaccination at four months and a booster two to four weeks later.