Pets need a vet.
And it’s a given that if your pet is sick or injured the first thing you’d do is seek out the services of a professional for help. Still a common question many pet parents ask is “How often should I take my dog to the vet?”
We get it. Trips to the veterinarian can sometimes be expensive. But proper maintenance and preventative care could potentially save you hundreds of dollars down the line. In case you were wondering what warrants an appointment for your dog, The Barking Lot came up with a few tips to help you decide when the vet should see your pet.
Birth to 1 Year
Ideally, your dog’s vet visits should begin at birth. Experts suggest taking your pet in at least once a month until they’re about 16 weeks. The vet checks their heart, lungs, skin, coat, eyes and ears to rule out any dietary issues or physical conditions.
This is also the time your dog would also get their very first round of vaccinations. These usually include rabies, distemper-parvo, kennel cough, influenza and Lyme disease.
Some veterinarians also begin flea and tick prevention by checking your dog for any parasites and then administering medications to help ward them off.
It’s also suggested that around 6 months of age that your pup be neutered or spayed.
1 to 7 Years
When your dog grows into an adult, they’ll need a wellness visit. This is when the vet checks for heart-worms and other diseases. They also make sure your dog’s teeth, gums and excretion are all normal.
7 to 10 Years
Depending on the type of dog you have, they are usually considered a senior between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. This is the time in your pet’s life when they’ll need to see the vet more often. Most experts say twice a year is sufficient for older pets.
Their check-ups will usually include blood and urine tests, as well as examining thyroid hormone levels and kidney and liver health. This is also a good time to let your vet know about any changes in your dog’s diet or behavior that concern you. Are they drinking more water then normal? Are routine walks becoming routine?
Many pets at this age suffer from conditions like loss of vision, osteoarthritis, kidney disease or cancer. And with regular vet visits, you prevent any worsening problems and provide an opportunity for greater success with any treatment, if needed.