As we’ve said before, adopting or buying a pet for that matter is a decision that involves a great deal of responsibility. Perhaps if people had learned this lesson already, many, many dogs and cats wouldn’t have had such negative experiences. Anyhow, this is not the topic of the article.
So, responsibility. Indeed, caring for your dog means apart from feeding and walking it, offering it regular check-ups at the vet. It is true dogs don’t exactly “speak” of their problems and are rather hush-hush about any discomfort or pain they might be experiencing, but that does not absolve you, the owner, of any responsibility. Far from it actually.
It is also true that a visit to the vet can lead to some financial changes in the family budget, as these can turn out to be rather expensive. However, that’s what check-ups are for. By providing your dog with the necessary medical care and attention, you could spare it of unnecessary pain and you could spare yourself of high medical costs.
Because the more complicated and complex an issue is, the more expensive the treatment is. Of course, you needn’t overdo it. You need to find a balance and we are here to help you do that.
In order to determine the frequency of the visits you need to make to the vet’s office, you need to consider the age of your pet. This is the one factor that matters. Of course the health state of your dog matters just as much. However, if we are talking about a dog with a health problem, perhaps one that has been adopted from the kennel or maybe one you found on the streets, then things are a bit different.
After your first visit, the vet will most likely set diagnosis and based on that diagnosis, the frequency of your visits will be determined. But coming back to the issue, and that is a healthy dog, age remains the most important factor of all. So, let’s go deeper into the issue and see just how age influences frequency.
Puppies and vets: what a match!
In the first year of your pet’s life, it is considered a puppy. This means that regular visits to the vet are necessary. By regular, we mean the three phases:
Phase 1: 16 weeks
Every 3 to 4 weeks, in the first 4 months of life, your dog will receive various shots, meant to protect the little fellow from diseases such as distemper-parvo or rabies. Of course, if the vet sees fit, your pet will also receive shots for Lyme disease or kennel cough.
Phase 2: Six months
If everything works out as planned, your next visit will be at the 6-month threshold. This will be a regular checkup and the vet will most likely make a few recommendations if there is any need for them. Also, between the 3 and 6-month phase, your furry friend will have started the flea and tick prevention treatment.
Phase 3: 6 months – 1 year
This last check-up will mark the transformation of your puppy into an adult dog. The 1-year check-up in most cases involves a talk about the possibility of spaying the dog. If you have a lady on your hands, then you need to know that the surgery may be a bit more complicated than in the case of males. However, if this is an option for you, the vet will take through all the details and explain the procedure step by step.
Adult dogs: 1-7/10 years – The challenge continues
Now, even though your furry friend has grown, that doesn’t mean that it suddenly understood the reason for which it should accept a thermometer shoved in private places. Some dogs just don’t like going to the vet, not as puppies and not as adults. Unfortunately, the yearly check-up is necessary.
There are yearly shots the dog needs to have in order to be protected from various diseases, more specifically rabies and distemper-parvo.
However, while these shots are necessary when the little guy marks its first year of life, after that the rules tend to differ from one country to another. For instance, in some countries, these shots are yearly, whereas, in others, the law says that they need to be performed every three years. So, you need to respect what your vet says regarding this issue.
Also, by means of these regular checkups, the health of your furry friend will be monitored.
Senior dogs: 7/10 years and up – Taking care of our dogs
Even though it is hard to think that your dog, your faithful partner is getting old, this is one truth that cannot be denied. The only thing you could do is take better care of it in this phase of its life. Offer it the care and attention it deserves.
Since dogs don’t talk and cannot say when they are not feeling well, the vet is the only translator you can trust. Senior dogs should have two check-ups instead of one, as this will give the vet better chances of identifying problems in real time and provide it with the right treatment. Also, blood or urine tests might be required, as these offer a lot of information regarding the health of your faithful partner.
Just one more mention
These check-ups are perceived as regular ones. However, in case you notice a problem, in case you see a change in the behavior of your dog, you need to act upon it and see the vet as soon as possible.