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How often should I take my dog to the vet?

You love your pup and want to give them their best chance at a long and happy life, that's where regular preventive veterinary care comes in. But exactly how often should you take your dog to the vet? Our Smyrna vets explain.

When should I take my dog to the vet?

A good rule of thumb is to take them at least twice a year. This helps them to get the preventive care they need and also allows your vet to detect any developing conditions. We'll go into more detail below.

Preventive Care & Early Detection

Preventing serious diseases, or detecting them in the very earliest stages can help your pooch to stay healthier, longer.

Taking your dog to the vet regularly allows your vet to monitor your pet's overall health, look for early signs of disease (when conditions are most easily treated), and recommend the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.

Our vets understand that you may be concerned about the cost of bringing your dog in for a checkup when they seem healthy, but taking a proactive, preventive approach to your dog's care could save you the cost of expensive treatments down the road.

Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Pets

Taking your dog to the vet for a routine exam is like taking your pup in for a physical. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, overall health, and age.

Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult dogs, but puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with underlying health conditions benefit from more frequent examinations. 

How many times a month should a dog go to the vet?

This mostly depend on their age. Below, you'll list how often you should bring a puppy, adult, and senior dog to the vet.

Puppies Up to 12 Months Old

If your dog is less than a year old, a monthly visit to the vet is recommended.

During your puppy's first year, they will require several rounds of vaccinations to protect them from common infectious diseases, such as distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, corona, rabies, and leptospirosis. These vaccines will be given to your puppy over a 16-week period and will help keep him healthy.

The exact timing of your puppy’s vaccinations will differ depending on your location and your pet's overall health.

Our veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your dog between the ages of 6 and 12 months to avoid a variety of diseases, undesirable behaviours, and unwanted puppies.

Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age

Annual wellness exams are recommended for healthy, active adult dogs between the ages of one and seven years.

During your adult dog's exam, your veterinarian will conduct a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of illness or other problems, such as tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.

Your veterinarian will also administer any necessary vaccines, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional requirements, recommend appropriate parasite protection, and address any training or behavioural issues you may be having.

If your veterinarian notices any signs of impending health problems, they will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.

Senior Dogs

Except for giant breeds, dogs are typically classified as senior when they reach the age of eight. Dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age faster than other breeds and require more frequent preventive care at a younger age, usually around 5 years old.

Because many canine diseases and injuries are more common in senior dogs, we recommend that you take them to the vet every six months. All of the checks and advice mentioned above will be included in your senior dog's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, as well as a few additional diagnostic tests to provide more information about your pet's overall health.

Blood tests and urinalysis are two diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients to look for early signs of issues like kidney disease or diabetes.

Geriatric care for pets entails taking a more proactive approach to keeping your pet comfortable as age-related issues like joint pain become more common. If you have a senior dog, ask your veterinarian how frequently you should bring him in for an exam.

Is it bad not to take your dog to the vet?

Yes, it is. It's not recommended to avoid taking your dog to the vet, as regular check-ups are crucial for ensuring their overall health and well-being. Neglecting veterinary care can lead to undiagnosed health issues and potentially worsen any existing conditions.

Wellness Plans

Many veterinarians strive to make preventive care more affordable for their clients by offering Wellness Plans.

At Cumberland Animal Clinic, we offer Wellness Plans for dogs of all sizes to help make your pup's routine annual care easier on your wallet. With our Wellness Plans, we bundle all the preventive services your pet needs to stay healthy. These include routine exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and more. And then we give you a monthly payment plan to help you save money and manage your budget.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time for your dog's routine wellness exam? Contact our friendly team at Cumberland Animal Clinic to schedule an appointment for your four-legged friend. 

New Patients Welcome

Are you looking for a vet in Smyrna, Georgia? Cumberland Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about animal healthcare. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

(770) 433-1414