How often should you take your dog to the vet?

A dog’s well being is essential to every dog owner. Proper veterinary care is imperative for your dog’s optimum health. Additionally, every dog owner has a set of questions about his/her dog’s health that needs to be addressed by an experienced vet.

Ideally, the veterinary treatment starts right after the dog’s birth. And the number of check-ups and medical treatments can vary based on the dog’s health. As a dog owner, you sure have heard the term “wellness exam” or “check-up”!

Are you wondering what it refers to?

Simply put, a dog wellness exam or check-up refers to the daily visit to the vet. Through these visits, the vet checks your dog’s health. Also, you get to ask questions concerning his exercise requirements, breed, and appetite.

The vet carefully analyzes the dog’s movement and gait. Even the dog’s dental health is examined. By doing this, the vet provides you with a complete health status of your dog.

And as a new dog owner, you are required to know the frequency of vet visits?

It all depends on the dog’s health condition. For instance, senior dogs and puppies usually require frequent vet visits.

But the healthy adult dogs can carry on with an annual check-up.

Are you worrying about the dog check-up expenses?

Don’t fret!

Today, preventive health care has your back. It ensures that your dog lives healthy for a long time and is also easy on your pocket.

You perhaps want to know more on preventive care. It’s a term that stands for everything that you do to ensure your dog lives healthy. It includes proper nutrition, daily vet care, and right exercises. The objective is to allow dog owners to arrive at informed decisions about their dog’s health. It helps to detect any health issue early and treat it at the earliest.

The annual wellness check-up

Generally speaking, every dog must have a full body check-up once a year! It is what a yearly wellness exam is all about. During yearly check-ups the vet scans your dog’s health and checks the following:

  • The dog’s heart health
  • The lung condition
  • Signs of ear and eye infections
  • Scans for fleas

Vaccinations are an essential part of pet care! Your vet will inform you about all the vaccinations required. Post the check-up, your vet will provide you with a detailed prescription about the dog’s nutrition changes (if any), dental care requirements, suggestions on daily physical activity and many more. He will also suggest medications as and when required.

The American Association of Animal Hospitals suggests that pet might fall ill when annual check-ups get missed! It’s always better to stay proactive about your dog’s health than see your dog suffer from any serious ailment.

You can also sign up for in-home vaccinations if required. Here you’ll have a vet visit your house personally, for vaccinations. The option is readily available and affordable too.

Dogs and vet visit frequency

Puppies – From birth to one year

During this time, your puppy needs vaccines at an interval of three to four weeks. It continues until your little one is sixteen weeks. Your dog will get injection shots for distemper-parvo, rabies, influenza, Lyme disease, kennel cough, and many other diseases.

Your pet might also get a tick-prevention and heartworm medications, just in case it’s recommended in your region. When your dog is six months old, you need to bring him/her to the vet again for getting neutered.

During this stage, the vet also checks your dog’s socializing skills and the training you’ve imparted as a dog owner.

Adult dogs – Between one and ten years

The annual check-ups are best during this stage. The vet will conduct a full body check-up and ask for blood tests and other tests, depending on the dog’s health condition. Usually, your dog gets rabies and distemper-parvo injection shots during this time. It keeps continuing at an interval of 3 years.

Are you wondering about how frequently the dogs have rabies boosters?

It depends on the state law. Your vet might ask for the dog’s stool samples as well. It’s to check for intestinal parasites and immune system condition.

Senior dogs – Between seven and ten years

During this age group, bi-annual health check-ups are essential. It applies for senior dogs older than ten years as well. Vaccinations depend on your dog’s health condition. Medical tests and thorough check-ups are common during this stage.

Your vet might ask you to get your dog’s urine, and blood test. It will help him understand the condition of the dog’s liver and kidney health and any fluctuations in thyroid hormone levels.

Your dog’s health will undergo several changes during all these years. Share any unusual changes that you’ve noted. The changes could be as minute as your dog sleeping more or not getting enthused about activities and the daily walks. These might be subtle symptoms of arthritis, bladder or kidney issues. An early diagnosis ensures a faster recovery.

An urgent visit to the vet

If your dog has an accident or is hit by an object, you will have to rush to the vet immediately. Other situations where you will need to visit the vet right away include the following:

  • Your dog is unconscious and isn’t waking up
  • Your dog is having trouble in breathing
  • You sense your dog might have broken bones
  • When your dog has severe diarrhoea, has been vomiting continuously and also vomiting blood
  • Your dog has pale gums
  • Your dog has a hard and swollen abdomen
  • Your dog suddenly gets weak and has trouble staying conscious
  • Your dog experiences chronic pain in any part of the body

A vet check-up is necessary to ensure that your dog enjoys good health. The check-up frequency changes based on the dog’s years and also on the overall health condition.

However, if you keep to the annual check-ups and the recommended vaccinations, your dog will experience stable health for a long time.