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How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

The majority of pet owners schedule an annual checkup for their pets. Is that, however, sufficient?

The number frequency of times you take your dog to the vet is determined by his or her life stage and overall health. Puppies and senior dogs, for example, require more regular visits, whereas healthy adults require annual checkups. 

If you’re concerned about the cost of vet visits, remember that preventative health care cannot keep your pet healthier, even if it may save you money in the long run.

Annual wellness exam

Consider it routine maintenance for your dog. In general, all dogs should get a complete physical examination at least once a year.

These wellness exams allow you to keep track of your dog’s growth and development and discuss any difficulties with your veterinarian. Most importantly, annual physicals are a vital element of preventative care.

Preventative care encompasses all you do to care for your dog, including proper feeding, exercise, and regular vet visits. 

With the idea of taking your dog for frequent wellness checkups, you will be able to make informed decisions about their health. You’ll also learn about illnesses or problems early on, which can be critical to successful treatment.

The doctor will perform an all-over checkup on your dog during annual wellness exams. They’ll listen to their heart and lungs, examine their eyes and ears, and look for fleas, among other things.

They will also update any necessary vaccines. Following the exam, the doctor may recommend your dog’s nutrition, dental care and activities, and drugs according to your pup’s health status.

Birth to one year: vaccinations and more!

You quickly become acquainted with the veterinarian when you get a baby puppy!

During the puppy’s first year, it is advised that he have a monthly wellness exam.

Following a basic immunization schedule, they should be vaccinated once every 3–4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old.

A simple immunization plan for young puppies is provided here.

  • The first DA2PP injection is given at 8 weeks (combined vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, and corona). This is presented in a series during the course of your puppy’s first year.
  • 10–12 weeks: second Leptospirosis and DA2PP injection
  • At 14–16 weeks, the third DA2PP and Lepto are administered. Rabies is also administered to children aged 16 weeks or older.

Keep in mind that your puppy’s immunization needs and schedule may vary based on where you live and how healthy your puppy is. Consult your veterinarian to choose the best course of action for your dog.

If your dog attends doggy daycare, he or she will almost certainly receive a kennel cough vaccine during this course. After the immunization regimen is completed, you may not return until your puppy is spayed or neutered, which might take anywhere from six months to more than a year.

Adulthood (ages 1–7)

Adult dogs usually require annual wellness checkups. As your dog becomes older, the yearly exam will continue to include a head-to-tail checkup, dental exam, and, in many cases, immunization updates.

The veterinarian will also inquire about your dog’s behavior, training, and overall health during a yearly exam. Other tests or treatments may be recommended based on your concerns or observations made by the veterinarian during the exam.

Over time, you should be able to develop a friendly and productive relationship with the veterinarian. And what if your dog isn’t a fan of vet visits? At the very least, you just need to go once a year!

Senior years (8+ years)

Older dogs have more specific health requirements and are more susceptible to disease and age-related harm. As a result, elderly dogs should visit the vet every six months or semi-annually.

In addition to routine wellness checks, your veterinarian may recommend a variety of diagnostic tests for your senior dog. These can include yearly blood tests.

Diagnostic tests assist your veterinarian in assessing your dog’s health and give a baseline against which subsequent tests may be compared. 

If your dog gets an ailment, the results can be really beneficial because the vet can go back and examine what “normal” looks like for your dog.

Depending on your dog’s health, your vet may recommend more regular checkups as he or she gets older. 

More regular vet visits will detect changes faster and offer your veterinarian more opportunities to correct problems as they emerge.

When to go to the vet right away

Usually, your dog will only require veterinary care on a yearly or semi-annual basis. However, crises do occur, and recognizing the warning signals can help you make an informed decision in those critical early seconds.

If your dog shows symptoms of any of the following signs, contact your veterinarian immediately:

  • Has been struck by an automobile or a sharp object after falling more than a few feet
  • Is unconscious and will not awaken
  • Has ceased breathing or is having difficulty breathing
  • Has experienced diarrhea or vomiting for more than 24 hours, or is vomiting blood
  • You believe they have broken bones.
  • Is she suffering a seizure?
  • Has white gums
  • Has consumed a hazardous substance such as antifreeze, human medications, or human edibles such as chocolate and chewing gum.
  • Exhibits signs of severe pain (whining, shaking, or refusing to socialize)
  • Suddenly falls or is unable to stand.
  • Is suddenly disoriented
  • Has a swollen, hard abdomen

Believe in your intuition! Always keep in mind that you are the expert on your dog. If your dog’s behavior suddenly changes, he or she should see a veterinarian. 

Also, don’t be afraid to call the vet regularly. They are medical professionals who wish to assist.

Preventative care at any age can help your dog live a longer life.