How often you should take your pet to the vet can vary from dog to dog. Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you stop and think to yourself, "When is the next time my dog needs to go to the vet"?
Your veterinarian plays an important role in your dog’s life -- they help when your dog is sick or injured, and can provide preventative care through routine check-ups and health recommendations. But how often should you be taking your dog to the vet?
In short, it depends. Some dogs will see the vet only when their routine physical exam rolls around, while others may end up at the vet’s office more often to treat health conditions.
Let’s take a look at when to take your dog to the vet.
Every dog needs to visit the veterinarian on a regular basis to have a physical examination, receive vaccination boosters, and undergo certain health tests. These check-ups are extremely important in maintaining your dog’s overall health, and they are also an opportunity for your veterinarian to identify any health problems before they become severe or expensive to treat.
How often your dog needs to visit the veterinarian for a check-up will vary depending on their age and any pre-existing health conditions. In general, though, you should adhere to these schedules:
- Dogs under 10 years of age: at least one physical examination per year
- Dogs 10 years of age and older: at least one physical examination every six months
Older dogs need to go to the vet more often than younger dogs because they are at higher risk for disease and injury. At their bi-annual check-ups, senior dogs will undergo a geriatric screening, which is a comprehensive exam that typically includes full blood work and chemistry, urinalysis, x-rays, and more.
Even if you stay up to date with your dog’s routine vet visits, there is still a chance that your four-legged friend could get sick or injured. And while some symptoms, such as an isolated incident of vomiting, may not be immediate cause for concern, other symptoms are warning signs that something more serious could be going on and it’s time to see the veterinarian for treatment.
Symptoms that you should never ignore include:
The Pet Parent’s Responsibility
There is no excuse for slacking on taking your dog to the vet, whether it is for a routine visit or to get a symptom checked out. If you are ever in doubt about whether a trip to the vet’s office is appropriate, give them a call. Most veterinarians and vet techs will be happy to advise you over the phone, and will let you know if a visit to the office is in order. Your pup depends on you -- don’t let them down!
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