schedule regular health checkups for your dog

Importance of Regular Health Checkups for Your Dog

Posted Jan 6, 2017 in Dog Health

We all know that taking our dog to the vet is important? But do we really know how often they need to go or if skipping one visit is a big deal? No matter what age your dog is, your visit to the doc is vital to their health and happiness. Vets are trained professionals who can see signs of illness and disease that you cannot. So while you may think your dog is fine, your vet might decide something else based on what you tell them and their examination.  Here is a timeline of what each visit to your vet provides for your dog and why is it so important you go.

First Year

When your puppy is first born, this is the time when going to the vet is most crucial. Every 3 to 4 weeks, you need to bring your new pup in to get their vaccinations. You should do this until they are 16 weeks old. They will also get shots for rabies, distemper-parvo, kennel cough, influenza, Lyme disease, and possibly others. Your dog will probably start heartworm, flea, and tick prevention medications around this time too.

At 6 months, you should bring your dog in again for a check up. Your vet will examine your pup to make sure they are growing at a good pace and that they do not show signs of illness. They will check in to see how behavioral issues are going, such as training and socialization.

Adult Years

From the ages of 1-7 (which may be higher or lower depending on your breed), vets recommend yearly check ups. Each year, your vet will take a blood sample to check for heart worms, as well as give a full body exam. Depending on what they see, they may suggest other tests.

At the first yearly checkup, your dog should get their distemper-parvo and rabies booster shots. After that, they should get a booster every 3 years after. Rabies booster shots vary from state to state.

Older Years

While your vet visit will be fairly similar, when your dog is over 7 they should be going to the vet twice every year. Your vet will take blood and urine tests to get info on their kidney and liver health, thyroid hormone levels, and other health issues. A big part of vet visits when your dog is older is sharing any changes that you are noticing. Simple things like not wanting to go on walks or drinking less water can be signs of bigger issues.

Overall, you really can’t skip a visit to the vet, no matter how healthy you may think your dog is. It is better to be safe and catch any issues early on to prevent and treat them. Keep your dog healthy and happy in 2017 and make your appointment at the vet today!

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