How Often Should You Take Your Pet to the Vet?
19 September, 2017
We all know how important it is to take our cats and dogs to the veterinarian for regular check-ups. As kittens and puppies, the vet visits are more regular. But once they pass that phase, how often should you take your pet to the vet?
If your dog or cat shows any signs of illness or irregularity, take your pet to the vet immediately. The below is a general guideline of how often to go the vet and, of course, this is assuming your dog or cat is healthy.
The first year – kittens and puppies
When your little darling is just a mere puppy or kitty, you should bring your pet every 3 to 4 weeks until he is four months old. A lot of adoption and rescue groups tend to only adopt their kittens and puppies after this age.
Puppies will get shots for rabies, distemper-parvo, and other diseases. They may also need shots to protect against possible health issues such as kennel cough, influenza, and Lyme disease.
Kittens will get tests for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. They also get vaccinations that cover several diseases.
Some vets will start heartworm and flea- and tick-prevention medications if necessary for where you live.
The vet will examine your pup or kitten to make sure he’s growing well and shows no signs of an illness.
Spaying and neutering
Four months is the best time for spaying and neutering as most animals haven’t reached sexual maturity and their chances of developing certain cancers later in life are greatly decreased.
Cats and Dogs as adults – 1 to 10 years
When your cats or dog pass puppy and kitten-hood, vets usually recommend annual checkups. To make the most out of your visit, prepare a list of questions to ask before you arrive at the veterinarian’s office.
A good veterinarian will give your pet a full head to tail physical. A vet will usually take a blood sample from your dog to check for heartworms. (Cats normally don’t get tested because heartworm is rare in cats and the blood test results can be difficult to interpret.)
The vet may recommend other tests based on any problems your dog or cat has developed or anything unusual that comes up during the exam.
Distemper-parvo and rabies booster shots happen during the first yearly checkup, then usually every 3 years after that. How often animals get rabies boosters depends on where you live.
Dogs might get other vaccines to prevent illnesses like kennel cough, and outdoor cats should get feline leukemia vaccines.
Your veterinarian’s office is also a good place to learn how to brush your pet’s teeth or trim your cat’s nails. Preventive dentistry is extremely important to your pet’s overall health. Your vet will and should examine your dog or cats’ teeth for tartar or any other dental condition.
The senior years: 8 years old (9 for cats) and older – depending on breed
As your cats and dogs age into their senior years, it’s preferable to go to the vet twice a year. Your cat or dog will get vaccinations when needed and will get a thorough physical exam, along with tests to follow up on any problems.
Blood and urine tests can give your vet helpful information on your pet’s kidney and liver health, thyroid and hormone levels. Cats tend to have urinary issues as they age and it’s best to catch them early on.
As always, mention any changes you’ve seen in your pet. Maybe your cat is urinating more often or your dog is having trouble climbing the stairs and is no longer excited by his walks. These can be signs of a new problem such as kidney disease or arthritis.
These are just guidelines to know what to expect as your youngsters turn into adults. As mentioned above, always take your pet to the vet or at least call them if you notice anything different.
Like this article: then you will want to know do indoor cats need vaccinations?
And, if you are having trouble getting your cat in the carrier to go the vet, read these tips.