How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

July 12, 2022by DOGuide0

Are you asking the question: how often should I take my dog to the vet? If so, we have the answer for you.

The Answer to the Question: How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

The answer to the question of how often should I take my dog to the vet is it depends on your dog’s age. Puppies need veterinarian care more often than adult dogs. Puppies need to visit the vet once between 6 and 8 weeks, another time between 10 to 12 weeks, and then again between 14 and 16 weeks. After that, a dog should visit the vet each year for an annual checkup.


when to take a dog to the vet


What to Expect at Routine Vet Appointments

When a dog is a puppy, vet visits are usually for the dog owner to ask questions about how best to take care of their new pet. The veterinarian will check the pet’s eyes, ears, and body for proper development and assess any issues related to the dog’s health.

Annual wellness exams consist of a heartworm test, temperature check, and assessment for any health issues. The physical exam includes looking at the ears, eyes, nails, and paws and inspecting the coat for any signs of fleas. Unless the pet parents do not have any pressing questions, annual wellness exams are not stressful.

If any issues are discovered or if pet parents bring up problems noticed, the vet may recommend a blood test to identify any health issues related to the symptoms.

Regular Vet Visits for Older Dogs

When a dog turns 10 years old, he/she is considered a senior dog. In addition to annual checkups, older dogs should have more frequent visits – every 6 months.

The veterinarian will likely recommend a blood test for senior dogs to rule out any medical concerns, such as kidney disease. Early detection is key to successful treatment.

Since older dogs are more likely to suffer from health issues, it’s a good idea to have a physical exam more often to maintain general health.

Vaccinations from Puppies to Senior Dogs

Each appointment during the first 16 weeks of life is also for vaccinations. These are the vaccinations given:

6-8 Weeks – DAP, Bordetella, Parainfluenza

10-12 Weeks – DAP, Leptospirosis, Lyme, Canine Influenza

14-16 Weeks – DAP, Rabies, Leptospirosis, Lyme, Canine Influenza

After 16 weeks, a dog needs Rabies, Leptospirosis, Lyme, Canine Influenza, and Bordetella annually. Rabies can be given every three years and after the initial 3 DAP vaccines, the booster is given every three years as well.

Vaccinations do not require a special appointment. They can be administered during regular checkups.

Vaccinations are important for maintaining general health. While some pet parents decide to forego vaccinations for their furry friends, it is not recommended.


how often to take a dog to the vet


How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

You should take your dog to the vet as often as needed to maintain your dog’s health. Healthy adult dogs should visit the vet annually. Puppies and senior dogs older than 10 years of age require frequent visits.

You love your pooch and you want him/her to be in your life for as long as possible. You can increase the chances of that by taking your furry friend to regular check-ups and following your vet’s recommendations for overall health.

Contact a Vet Online

Did you know you can chat with a vet online for a very low cost? It’s great to know that at a moment’s notice you can speak to a veterinarian about your pet. Learn more about it by reading: Can You Call a Vet and Ask Questions?

How to Save on Regular Visits

Pet insurance doesn’t pay help pay for regular vet visits, but some of them do have problems helping pay for them. For example, PetFirst offers a wellness plan.

PetFirst’s wellness plan is called Routine Care Rider. Policyholders pay an annual cost for a plan that meets their needs. When pet owners utilize one of the wellness care services included in the coverage, some of the cost is already taken care of through the policy.

For instance, for $125, pet parents receive:

  • Up to $15 for wellness exam fees.
  • Up to $25 for vaccinations.
  • Up to $50 for preventive care such as heartworm test, Microchip ID, flea and tick meds
  • Up to $35 for behavior training

Depending on the actual costs, it can be a relief to know you’re not entitled to pay the entire cost of the care at one time.

If you’re interested in learning more about the program, read this article:

PetFirst Wellness Plans

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