How Often Should You Take your Dog to the Vet?

By April 5, 2021 May 26th, 2021 Dogs, New Pet Owners
Veterinary with a dog for a review in the clinic

Taking your dog to the vet is important for keeping your pet healthy. Just like people go to the doctor for checkups and to the hospital for emergencies, dogs need to go to the vet both for emergency health care and for regular checkups.

You’ll want to make sure you are bringing your dog in often enough for them to be healthy.

So how often do you need to take your dog to the vet for non-emergency care? The answer depends and is influenced by factors like age and health conditions.

How Often Should You Take Your Puppy to the Vet?

A puppy will need to be taken to the vet every three or four weeks until they are sixteen weeks old for necessary vaccinations.

It’s important to get your puppy fully vaccinated so they are protected against diseases. The vet will also start your puppy on flea and heartworm treatments to prevent them from getting either.

Close up of a female vet giving a puppy an injection

What vaccinations does your puppy need?

You should ask your vet about the following:

  • Distemper
  • Kennel cough
  • Rabies
  • Lyme disease
  • Influenza

When should you take your puppy to be spayed or neutered?

After 16 weeks, the vet will want to see your puppy again at the age of six months. This is when you’ll take your puppy in to either be spayed if they are female or neutered if they’re a male.

At this appointment, the vet will also check to make sure your puppy is growing as they should. The vet may check in with you about how well the puppy is doing in terms of socialization, training, and housebreaking.

How Often Should You Take your Adult Dog to the Vet?

After a dog has reached a year, they are considered adult dogs. Its veterinary needs change at this time. Typically, regular wellness checkups for adult dogs should be conducted once a year.

At a regular checkup, the vet will take a blood sample. If you’ve brought a stool sample, use both to check for parasites and heartworms.

The primary purpose of this annual checkup is for the vet to check your dog over from nose to tail. If there are any concerns you have or problems the vet finds, they may order tests or treatment for your dog.

It’s also a time for booster shots for many of the vaccines your dog has already received. Some shots must be done annually while others may be done every three years.

Veterinary clinic with a french bulldog

How Often Should You Take Your Senior Dog to the Vet?

A dog who is between 7-10 years (or older) is considered a senior dog.

Senior dogs will likely have more health concerns than adult dogs. For this reason, vets generally recommend checkups twice a year for senior dogs.

These visits will involve thorough physicals and any tests or treatments to handle any problems found. The vet can run tests on your dog’s blood and liver to look for specific problems most common in older dogs.

When Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet for Emergencies?

Look out for any abnormal behavior in your dog before taking them to the vet for an emergency visit.

If your dog appears to be sick or you know they have eaten something they shouldn’t, monitor your pet for any alarming symptoms.

You can also research specific symptoms online to learn if there’s a cause for concern. Some vets may be available over the phone, email, or text to answer questions before you bring your dog in.

Need to book an appointment? Contact us at (407) 217-7632.

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