Our dogs needs regular veterinary care, just like we need to see our doctors, in order to maintain optimal health. Also, just like human and our babies, puppies need to get more check ups and vaccinations at the vets than more mature dogs. And as dogs age into their senior years they may need to head to the vet more often again. So, how do you know how often to take your dog to the vet?
Puppies: From a newborn to four months of age
Puppies need extra care, such as vaccinations and spaying or neutering. Because of their unique needs, it’s best to visit the vet at least once every month for the first four months. Your new fur-baby may need blood tests, plus you need to learn essential information, such as the nutrients your puppy needs to thrive and how to monitor his weight. During this stage, your vet will discuss various vital topics, including the mental and physical development of your dog. The vet can also check over your pup to ensure that he’s not at risk for distemper, parvo, or other health issues that frequently affect younger dogs.
Adolescent & Adult Dogs: From five months to about 5 or 6 years of age
Most dogs are a few years old before they’re fully mature, although it varies by breed. All the same, once your dog is about six months old, you can significantly cut down on visits to the vet. Adolescent dogs only need annual or bi-annual checkups, barring emergency visits. At this stage of development, your dog will need boosters for various vaccinations, rabies shots, heartworm checks, and medicine for guarding against fleas and ticks. Your vet will also want to check your pup’s poo during these visits. Oral examinations become more critical, as well. If your dog’s breed has any genetic issues, the vet will begin to keep an eye out for signs of trouble.
Senior Dogs: From 6 years of age and up
Although all dogs age faster than humans, the way they age in relation to each other depends on their size and their breed. Typically, small dogs and toy breeds are classified as geriatric at eight years old, while larger dogs hit their golden years around age six. Older dogs face the risk of arthritis, cancer, kidney conditions, and other health issues. It’s best to take them to the vet once a year, at the very least. Bringing in your beloved pup for regularly scheduled checkups and wellness exams may catch problems before they become serious. That gives you more treatment options.
Talk to your vet about a wellness schedule. You can map out exactly what your dog needs for every stage of his furry little life.
From puppyhood to geriatrics our dog’s health is important to us. Seeing that they get to the vet regularly is a big part of making sure our dogs have a life full of vitality and love. After all, we want to spend as much time as we can with our beloved canine companions and this is one of the best ways to ensure we do.