How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?

Pets are like people. Some of them hate going to the doctor (the vet) while others are nonchalant about it. Just like people need doctor check-ups, pets need to visit the vet. The specific question, though, is how often should you take your dog to the vet?

Instead of a blanket answer of once a year, the truth is vet visits really depend on the age, health and life stage of your pet.

Take, for instance, puppies who are less than a year old. They’re likely to visit the vet more often than older dogs simply because they’re at the start of their lives and require more attention. For example, puppies typically need vaccination shots every couple weeks up until their four months old. Therefore, you might find you’re visiting the vet once a month, initially, so your pet can be properly protected from things like rabies, influenza and Lyme disease.

Pet dogs typically get spayed or neutered at the age of six months, requiring a vet visit. This is also a good time to discuss with the vet how the dog is doing when it comes to training, socialization and housebreaking.

As for adult dogs, between the ages of 1 and 10 years, or so, it makes sense to take a dog to see the vet once a year. At these yearly check-ups, the vet gives the dog a physical. He or she will take a blood sample, check for heartworms, and/or give booster shots (for things like rabies) as needed.

A dog is considered a senior after the age of 7, 8, 9, or 10 depending on the breed. So, for the sake of this article, consider a dog over 10 to be old. At this life stage, in the dog’s declining years, take them to see the vet twice a year. Vets check their blood and urine, looking at any potential problems with their kidneys, liver, thyroid, etc.

Of course anytime it seems like there’s something wrong with your dog, no matter what their age, you should take them to the vet.

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