If you ever struggled with the decision of how often your pet needs to visit the vet then you have come to the right place, because this article will give you all the information regarding the matter. Who doesn’t love their pets? They bring joy and happiness to our lives but to do so they need to be fit and healthy. Hence taking your beloved pet to the vets regular should be on top of your to-do list.
Why is it important?
Some of the reasons why it is important to take your pet to the veterinarian are as follows.
- Pets, just like humans, can develop medical problems and if not checked on at least annually then it can go out of hand. Your pet can have fleas, ticks, heartworm, rabies, and other fatal diseases. Having a regular checkup can save your pet from growing cancerous tumors or parasites in their body which only a vet can find with medical procedures. Also, there are some natural ways to take care of your pet and to keep them healthy at home, such as massages, green tea, healthy food, etc.
- If you visit your vets regularly then you can also learn quite a few things about how to take care of your pet and tackle emergencies. You would know which food to avoid, which medication to take, how to calm your pet if he or she is acting strangely. This knowledge and advice are something that only a vet can provide.
- As your pet grows older, you should expect health issues to raise so you must make the visits to the vet a regular thing.
- Pets can usually hide symptoms of illness or sign of any pain if they have. This is why you should note any kind of unusual behavior of their pet and consult with their vets because you don’t want to be the pet owner that doesn’t know their pets have a fatal disease.
How Often Should You Do It?
There is no exact answer to this question. It depends on the type of pet you have, the age of your pet, the pre-existing medical conditions of your pet, and also how good or close your vet is. So there is a rule of thumb which you can follow, depending on the age of your pet, and it is described below.
- Birth to one year
First of all, you need to make sure the little ones get vaccinated every 3-4 weeks until he or she is 16 weeks old. When they are just kids, they can also start having heartworm, flea, and ticks so you need to get the little one some medication for that. Also at this stage, pets need to get proper nutrition and minerals to grow into a healthy animal and your vets have to recommend these according to the type of pet you own.
During the first year, cats usually need to get tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency. Dogs need to get shots for rabies, distemper-parvo, and other diseases unique to the particular dog breed. They will also need to be protected against kennel cough, influenza, and Lyme diseases in the first year of their lives.
- One to seven years
At this age frame, vets tell you that you need to do at least an annual checkup for your pet to stay healthy. The doctor is supposed to do an overall head to tail examination on your pet. Your doctor is supposed to take blood samples to check for heartworms. It is also recommended your vet takes stool samples from your pet to check for intestinal parasites which can be irritating your pet.
Your pet must be given yearly distemper-parvo and rabies boosters to prevent such deadly diseases and it’s not just about your pets’ safety, these diseases can be deadly to the people who live with the pets. So for the safety of yourself and your family, these boosters are extremely important.
Cats are not usually tested for heartworms because the answers can be very difficult to interpret. During this age, cats are also prone to getting feline leukemia vaccines, so cats especially need to get a vaccination for that. Dogs can get kennel cough at this age, so they need to go through proper examination and vaccination to prevent this disease.
- Seven to ten years and older
If you have older pets then you should be prepared to take them to the vet at least twice a year. This is because, just like humans when they get older, they need medical attention, older pets will have some health issues that should be taken care of. Otherwise, your pet will suffer in their old age. There is no saying what kind of medical condition a pet can develop, hence the visits to the vets are extremely important to check up and keep track of their health.
The vet needs to test your pet’s thyroid hormone level, liver, kidney, etc so make sure all of the organs are working fine. To do this the vet needs to take multiple blood and urine samples. You also have to keep an eye out for your pet and notice any usual behavior or mood swings. Like if your cat is drinking way more water than usual or your dog is not excited to go out for walks anymore, this could be signs indicating kidney problems or arthritis. You need to look out for those signs and regularly consult your vet.
Dogs and cats will need to go through a thorough physical examination twice a year to find out the exact condition of their health.
Sometimes however you should completely ignore the rule of thumb and take your pets to the vet immediately. You should make this exception whenever you notice an unusual funny behavior on your pet’s part. These are the signs and ways of your pets telling you that something is wrong with them. The following list is the examples of what you must be keeping a lookout for.
- Lumps or bumps on the skin
- Sudden increase or decrease in body weight
- Laziness or lose of interest
- Loss of appetite
- Vomit, loose stools, frequent diarrhea
- Less interactive or depressed
I hope this article has addressed all of your concerns regarding this issue. Some people are reluctant to take their pets to the vet mainly because they feel like their pet is healthy and they will save themselves money and time by turning a blind eye to the situation. But if something happens to your pet then you would have to spend a lot more time and money than you saved during all this time. Not to mention the added tension and stress it will cause you and your family and the thought that your pet has suffered all this time for your negligence is enough to eat you alive. So I recommend not to put off this easy for the sake of your cherished pet.