How Often You Should Take Your Dog To The Vet – A Guide For Newbies Explained

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Large Dog at Vet Clinic

This is a common question for most new pet owners – how often should you take your dog to the vet? Generally speaking, you need to make it there about twice a year. Some regular checkups need to ensure your dog is doing well. The vet will perform a physical exam and let you know if there are any problems.

Other than that, there are a few more specific requirements. For example, you will need to take your dog to the vet whenever it is time for a vaccine or another procedure – more commonly in older dogs or those in poor health conditions.

Now, how about the more specific times to take your dog to a vet?

girl holds a dog in a veterinary

The Necessity Of Particular Vet Checkups

Specific requirements involve taking your dog to the vet.

Vaccinations

The necessity of a vaccine should never be overlooked. It is more common in puppies. Sometimes, older dogs might need to take vaccines for particular conditions, too, but this requirement is mandatory in young dogs.

Grooming

Not all vets provide grooming services, and not all dogs require such a treatment. There are many grooming procedures that you can do at home, such as brushing or bathing. Nail clipping can be tricky, and it is not always necessary, but when it becomes a must, make sure you know what you are doing or seek help from a professional.

Injuries

It is vital to take your dog to a vet if it suffers from an injury. Some injuries or diseases can be fatal. Make sure you have the contact number for an emergency clinic that runs 24/7 too. Some problems are not always visible. Once you get used to your dog, seek help from a vet whenever it acts out of character. According to Web MD, pets cannot communicate their issues when they suffer, so it is in your interest to know what to pay attention to.

Now that you know the specific situations that require a specialist, how often should you take your dog to the vet based on its age?

How Often To Take Your Dog To The Vet

How old is your dog? This answer should dictate its main requirements in terms of professional care.

Puppies

Dogs are considered puppies up to six months of age, yet they may act childish even after a year. At this age, they require plenty of work and care. At the same time, they need plenty of vet visits, as well.

Whether you get a puppy from a shelter and it has everything done in the vet book, or you buy one, make sure you reach a vet straight away. You need a second opinion on the puppy’s health. The initial exam will include a general health assessment, but at the same time, the vet will also check for parasites. The vet will consider the age and weight for that age, only to make sure that your new furry friend is growing correctly.

Puppy vaccinations are usually done before 16 weeks old. They will need to take more vaccines – usually every four weeks. The vet will let you know when to come back next. Some of these vaccines prevent parvovirus, rabies or distemper, among many other harsh affections.

Heartworm procedures are also needed. They usually start within the first eight weeks of life. By three or four months old, they will require tick and flea medication, too, even if they look alright. These are just prevention treatments that all puppies should go through.

Another exam is taken at six months old. Generally, this is the right age to neuter your pet should you want to do it.

girl holds a dog

Adult dogs

Dogs are said to be adults between one and ten years old, yet it depends on the breed – some dogs are considered senior after seven years old. If they are in good condition, they will require one or two exams a year – just an assessment for the vet to ensure they are doing well. They may also get more shots, such as for distemper or rabies. Many shots are given every two or three years.

Senior dogs

Again, based on the breed, some dogs become senior at seven years old, while others might go old after ten years old. You should get two or three checkups a year because they are more exposed to all kinds of problems. The earlier they are detected, the better your dog will be.

Dietary changes might be necessary, too, not to mention changes in your dog’s habits.

Keeping vet costs low

According to Rover, vet expenses should not cripple you if your dog is in good condition and only requires the yearly exams. Again, do not compromise on checkups, as you might end up compromising your dog’s wellbeing.

From vaccinations and cleaning to dental cleaning and heartworm prevention, costs can be quite harsh, especially during your puppy’s first year. Here are a few tips to keep them low.

  • Adopting a dog from a shelter is cheaper because they usually come with all these treatments done. You should still take it to a vet for an initial checkup, though.
  • Vet insurance could be a good option. Different policies cover different things, from annual checkups to specific treatments should your dog become ill.
  • Doing many things yourself can save lots of money. You can brush and even trim your dog’s fur, but you can also clip its nails. Make sure you know how or you risk hurting your little friend. There are some requirements in the process.

Final Words

So, how often should you take your dog to the vet? As a short conclusion, there is no such thing as a general rule because there are many factors to take into consideration. Your dog’s age is the most important thing to consider, but particular conditions or medical history may require more visits. Remember, your dog is your best friend, so never compromise on its health.

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