As any dog owner will know, welcoming a new dog into the family is very similar to welcoming a new baby.
Your dog is entirely dependent on you to feed them, give them water, and ensure that they are cared for. But what differs when you have a dog, as opposed to when you have a baby, is that there isn’t somebody there to tell you what to do.
When you have a new child, you will be given regular appointments to check on your child’s growth, and ensure that you are adjusting well to parenthood.
But, when you welcome a new dog, none of this happens. Instead, it is up to you to ensure that everything is in place for your four-legged friend. This can be quite scary at first.
One thing that can be daunting is knowing when to take your dog to the veterinarian, and how regularly you should do this throughout their lifetime. We’ll be taking a look at this in this guide, so keep on reading!
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Why Is It Important To Take Your Dog To The Vets Regularly?
First things first, let’s take a look at why it is important that you take your dog to the vets regularly. If you are new to owning a dog, then this can be quite a strange concept.
After all, as human beings, we only visit the doctors when we are unwell. But, when it comes to dogs, you should take them to the vets regularly. Even if they seem well. So, why is this?
Well, the main reason why you should take your dog to the vet regularly is because your dog can’t speak. Your dog’s inability to communicate in the same way that humans do means that it is often difficult to know if your dog is in pain or unwell.
Taking your dog to the vets regularly is also incredibly important for early detection of illness. When you take your dog for regular check-ups, your vet will be able to monitor their health.
So, if your dog begins to fall ill, your vet should be able to catch it early on. But, how often should your dog visit go to the vet? Let’s take a look.
How Regularly Should A Puppy Visit The Vets?
How often your dog should visit the vets depends on a number of factors. All dogs are unique, so there may be circumstances when your dog needs to visit the vet more regularly than other dogs.
However, generally one of the biggest factors that will influence how often your dog should visit the vets is their age. So, let’s begin by taking a look at how often puppies should visit the vets.
If your pup is in good health, then they will visit the vets most regularly when they are a puppy. A lot of breeders choose to take their puppies to the vets for a health check before they sell them.
So, there is a good chance that your pup will have already visited the vets before they even come home to you.
You should then take your puppy to the vets for their vaccinations. These vaccinations are usually given between the age of 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks, and again at 16 weeks.
These vaccinations will ensure that your dog is protected against diseases such as rabies, distemper, and Canine Parvovirus.
During these vaccination appointments, your vet will usually give the puppy a check-up too. Assuming that they are healthy, then your dog won’t need to visit the vets again until they have passed the age of 1.
How Often Should An Adult Dog Visit The Vets?
The bulk of your dog’s life will be spent in adulthood. So you probably want to know how often your adult dog should visit the vets.
Once your dog has been vaccinated as a puppy, they will require an annual booster vaccination. This ensures that the effectiveness of the vaccine does not wear off as they age. So, you should take your adult dog to the vets once a year for this booster vaccination.
During this visit, you should also book a health check with the vet. This means that your vet will track your dog’s growth and development, and they will also complete other wellness checks to ensure that your dog is in good health.
Essentially, a health check is routine maintenance on your dog.
You can usually book for your dog to have their booster vaccinations at the same time as their health check, meaning that you only need to take your adult dog to the vets around once a year. Assuming that they are in good health, and show no signs of illness.
How Often Should A Senior Dog Visit The Vets?
Your dog will become a senior dog any time between 7 and 11 years of age, depending on their size. Once your dog becomes a senior, vet visits should become more frequent.
A lot of the time, older dogs develop health issues that mean they need regular vet visits and monitoring.
However, if your dog is lucky enough to remain in good health as they reach old age, you should simply take them for check-ups every 6 months rather than every 12 months.
In short, how often you should visit the vet with your dog depends on a number of factors. These include the health of your specific dog, their breed, and, in particular, their age.
Generally, your dog should visit the vet for a health check at least once a year. However, when your dog is a puppy, and when they are a senior dog, they will visit the vet more regularly.
We hope the information in this guide has helped set your mind at ease when it comes to taking your dog to the vet. Thanks for reading!