How Often Should a Dog Visit the Vet?

by Naomi Millburn
    As long as it's for my good.

    As long as it's for my good.

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    Properly caring for a pooch goes far beyond feeding him and accompanying him on extended walks around the park. Ensure your doggie's health, happiness and vibrancy for his entire life by taking him to the veterinarian on a regular basis.

    Vaccinations

    Puppies require more frequent trips to the veterinarian's office than mature dogs. Early vaccinations are crucial for ensuring the future health of the little guys. Puppies generally need to begin receiving a series of shots when they're between 6 weeks and 8 weeks old, according to the ASPCA. These shots, which are usually spaced about a month apart, aim to protect puppies against conditions such as rabies, hepatitis and parvovirus. Speak with a veterinarian regarding which vaccinations are appropriate for your little one. Puppies usually finish the early vaccination cycle when they're roughly 4 months old.

    Frequency

    It is crucial for healthy and mature canines to go the veterinarian at least once annually, the MSPCA Angell organization advises. Dogs need extensive physical examinations to ensure their physical well-being. Such exams not only involve the administration of any appropriate shots, they also entail thorough inspections of your pooch's body, including his teeth, lungs, heart, coat, skin, ears, eyes and so forth. By performing a detailed and elaborate examination, a veterinarian can determine whether your pet has any medical issues or concerns.

    Immediate Veterinary Attention

    If you ever have any reason to think your dog is ill or injured in any way, it is vital to take him in for veterinary assistance immediately. When it comes to an unwell dog, there is no time to wait around. You can't ask for symptoms and you can't wait it out to see if the condition goes away. The sooner your pet receives veterinary care, the easier it may be for him to get back to happiness, energy and feeling good in general. Dogs often indicate illness in telling ways -- think whimpering, exhaustion, decreased activity, absence of appetite, loss of weight, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing and excessive urination, for a fistful of examples.

    Older Dogs

    If your sweet pet is on the older side, between 7 to 10 years old, depending on breed, it's time to start taking him to the veterinarian more frequently -- think once every half-year. Aging canines are much more susceptible to a wide array of medical conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease. If your older dog sees the vet at least twice annually, you may be able to quickly nip pressing medical concerns in the bud. You'll also have advance warning regarding many of the ailments of old age by reviewing blood tests more often. As the dog reaches his twilight, you'll likely take him more regularly for visits until the fateful day comes.

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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