Taking your dog to the vet is vital for the sound physical health of your pet. Routine vet visits help in the early diagnosis of the disease, thus leading to early treatment. So, they improve the quality of life of your dog and help him live longer. The answer to a common question, “how often should I take my dog to the vet?” depends on the dog’s age, breed, and health status. Younger and older dogs have a weaker immune system and are more likely to suffer from diseases, so they require a visit to the vet more frequently than middle-aged dogs. Let’s take a detailed look at the different age groups of dogs and how often taken to the vet.
How Often Should You Take the Dog to the Vet?
Up to One Year of Age
Puppies have weak immunity, require frequent visits to the vet. The veterinarian will check for any congenital disabilities in your puppy in the first visit. They are susceptible to various diseases and disorders. Deadly diseases such as canine distemper and parvovirus are more likely to attack young pups, so they must be vaccinated at a young age. You’d need to take your dog to the vet every 3, 4 weeks for vaccination shots against different diseases. Vaccination against the most commonly prevalent diseases will complete around 16 weeks of age.
Apart from vaccine shots, your vet can prescribe flea and tick prevention medications for your dog. Your vet will check if your dog is growing well without any illness during routine checkups. If your dog is having behavioral problems, mental health is also assessed. Your vet can advise different measures if the puppy is facing issues in socializing and training. After your puppy is done with vaccine shots, he will have to be spayed at the age of 6 months if you don’t intend to use him for breeding purposes. In short, puppies require frequent visits to the vet than dogs from any other age group.
Up to One Year to 8 Years of Age
Dogs between the ages of 1- 8 years are called adult dogs with the most potent immunity against disease pathogens and require an annual visit to the vet. An annual booster shot is given in the routine visit. Some diseases need a yearly booster shot after the first vaccine shot. A blood sample may show the presence of blood parasites. They are also helpful in assessing the working of organs like the liver and kidneys. Additional tests and radiographs may be required if your vet observes any abnormality.
Dogs Aged Above Eight Years of Age
Dogs aged above eight years of age are called senior dogs. They require the most care and precaution. They have a weakened immune system, so they are likely to fall ill quickly. Cancer, arthritis, heart problems, etc., are prevalent in senior dogs. Senior dogs should be taken to the vet at least twice a year. An external examination should be performed along with blood tests.
When the dog is old, you should keep an eye on his diet and water intake. Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities and lethargy can be signs of underlying disorders. These changes should be reported to the veterinarian in checkups to correlate history with the physical examination. This helps in reaching a better diagnosis. You can also ask your veterinarian for specific diets according to your dog’s unique needs.