Abstract The safety and efficacy of a canarypox vector expressing PrM and E genes of West Nile virus (WNV) (ALVAC-WNV) was evaluated in dogs and cats. One group of 17 dogs (vaccinated with 10 5.6 TCID 50) and two groups of cats (groups 1 [ n = 14] vaccinated with 10 7.5 TCID 50 and 2 [ n = 8] 10 5.6 TCID 50) were vaccinated twice at 28-day intervals. Fifteen dogs and eleven cats served as negative controls. The cats and dogs were challenged 120 and 135 days after the second immunization, respectively via the bites of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes infected with WNV. The first dose of vaccine induced a detectable antibody response in four dogs and five cats (one immunized with low and four with high doses). After the second dose, all the vaccinated dogs and all of the cats, immunized with high dose had detectable antibody titers, whereas only four of eight cats in the low dose group were seropositive. None of the vaccinated dogs and one vaccinated cat developed viremia following the WNV mosquito-challenge. In contrast, 14 of the 15 control dogs and 9 of the 11 control cats developed viremia. The experimental vaccine described in this study may be of value in the prevention of WNV infection in dogs and cats.