Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Pets

Font Size

Topic Overview

Cats, dogs, and ferrets

Cats, dogs, and ferrets should receive their first rabies vaccination at the age of 3 months and their second vaccination at the age of 1 year. After the second vaccination, the need for revaccination of cats and dogs is determined by the type of vaccine used, by the number of rabies cases in your local area, and state laws.

  • Yearly vaccination may be needed in areas with a high incidence of rabies.
  • Vaccination every 3 years may be needed in areas with a low incidence of rabies.
  • Ferrets should be vaccinated every year.

Check with your veterinarian for the rabies vaccination schedule in your area.

Recommended Related to Pets

Snake Bite Safety and Prevention for Your Pet

If you frequently hike or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors with your pet, please take care to prevent painful encounters with snakes. Bites occur most often in between March and October when snakes are most active. According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), a snake bite is always considered an emergency-a venomous snake bite can be fatal if not treated immediately, and even a bite from a nonvenomous snake can be dangerous for your pets.

Read the Snake Bite Safety and Prevention for Your Pet article > >

Exotic pets

If you have an exotic pet, check with your vet to find out what vaccinations the pet needs. Most common exotic animal bites come from:

  • Skunks and raccoons. Wild (endemic) populations of skunks and raccoons have the greatest risk for having rabies.
  • Ferrets. These animals can transmit rabies.
  • Monkeys.

If you have questions about local rabies issues, contact your local health department. If you will be traveling with your pet, check with your vet about the protection your animal needs and the risk your animal has for getting rabies.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Small dog large dog
Slideshow
boxer dog
Slideshow
 
Night stalking cat
Slideshow
puppy eating from bowl
Slideshow
 
Woman holding puppy
Article
Sad dog and guacamole
Slideshow
 
Siamese cat eating from bowl
Slideshow
cat on couch
Evaluator
 
Cat People vs Dog People Slideshow
Slideshow
Kitten playing
Quiz
 
Orange cat nuzzling woman
Slideshow
German shephard reading a book
Quiz