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How often should my dog visit the vet?

Updated on April 12, 2012

Visiting a vet can be a traumatic experience for a dog. My GSD would start whining and pawing the car door as soon as we turned the corner leading to the vet’s clinic. Intelligent dog! However, vet visits are necessary. Although some pet owners would skip the annual checkup especially if the pet appears to be healthy, I make it a point to set an appointment with the vet at least once a year. What about you…how often do you take your dog to the vet’s?

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Are vet visits really that necessary?

Any pet owner would agree that it is more cost effective to prevent than to cure diseases. A lot of pet owners though would argue that vets would only make them spend money unnecessarily. When it comes to maintaining the health of the pet, a vet can be the dog’s superhero. However, vets are running a business too. The trick to choosing a “friendly” vet is to ask around. Dogs draw other dog owners. Take the pet to a park and in no time other dog owners will converge. It would be an easy matter to get the list of trustworthy vets.

How often should you take the pet to the vet?

The frequency of vet visits would depend on the age, on the lifestyle of the dog and on the risk of exposure to certain canine diseases. Yearly visits are needed to protect the dog from contagious canine diseases. Vaccination against rabies is mandated by the state thus a dog has to be brought to the vet facility for this particular shot. Blood work, oral and physical exams, fecal examinations must be done at least once a year. These routine checkups will rule out parasite infestation and would initiate any necessary treatments if the pet is diagnosed to have a medical concern. Annual vet visits is imperative in areas where a certain type of canine disease is prevalent. For instance, frequent blood test will be necessary if you live in an area where heartworm incidence is quite high.

How often should a puppy visit the vet?

Puppies would need frequent vet visits. Series of vaccinations and worming will protect the pup from disease-bearing bacteria and viruses. Vet visit will be necessary during the first few months of a puppy’s life.

How often should a middle aged dog visit the vet?

Annual and semiannual vet visits should be made a part of the dog’s lifetime medical maintenance. Annual vet visits would be enough for generally healthy middle aged dogs. Vets no longer recommend yearly vaccinations these days but just the same the dog would still benefit from yearly checkups.

How often should old dogs visit the vet?

Our very energetic and lively pet gets old too. As with humans, an aging dog will suffer from a variety of health issues. Geriatric dogs that have an ongoing medical concern would naturally require more frequent visits to the vet. Even if the aging four legged friend is generally healthy, it would still be a good idea to take the pet to the vet at least twice a year so that the development of conditions common to dogs in that age bracket can be addressed promptly.

Visiting the Vet with Your Dog or Puppy

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