Dogs are part of our family and it’s our job to take care of them. A major component of doing this involves going to the vet. Your vet is there to help keep your pup happy and healthy. But it isn’t always easy or obvious to know how often you should be taking your dog to the vet. There's no clear-cut answer but here are some guidelines that can help you figure out what’s best for your pup.
As a rule of thumb, all dogs should go to the vet regularly for check-ups and vaccinations. What “regularly” means, though, depends on your dog’s age, lifestyle and overall health.
What’s in a typical vet visit?
Vet visits usually consist of a physical that includes recording weight and checking your dog’s heart, stomach, teeth, ears, eyes, breathing and more. They’ll also give him or her any vaccinations that need to be updated. It’s important to note that you should always take your dog to the vet if they’re sick, injured or something just isn’t right with them.
Pro Tip: If your dog is having any serious or acute issues or have eaten poison, take them to an emergency vet right away. Symptoms of these conditions include but are not limited to: open wounds, vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, trouble breathing, bloody vomit or stool, broken bones, unconsciousness, seizures, swollen and hard abdomen, extreme pain, and bloody eyes, ears, nose or mouth.
One of the first things you should do for a puppy is take him or her to the vet to make sure they are healthy, spayed or neutered and properly vaccinated. Puppies require multiple vaccinations - including ones that come in a series, which usually take several visits over several months in a row. But this will give your vet the ability to monitor your puppy’s growth and health.
Adults (1-7 years old)
When your dog grows out of puppydom and into adulthood, the frequency of your vet visits should decrease. Typically, adult dogs only need to visit their vet once a year for check-ups and some vaccinations. Please note that this is based on a healthy adult dog and not all adult dogs will be so healthy. In the latter cases, you’ll need to take your dog to the vet more often.