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How Often Should I Bring My Dog to the Vet? All Ages Guide

Written by: Kristina Lotz

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

how often should you take your dog to the vet

How Often Should I Bring My Dog to the Vet? All Ages Guide

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We’ve all heard this, but how does it pertain to dogs? Do you often ask yourself, “How often should I take my dog to the vet?” An annual checkup for your dog is a necessary part of being a pet parent and taking our beloved dogs to the vet routinely identifies issues quicker.

It’s easy to not think about taking your dog to the veterinarian when he is healthy, but do it. That baseline will make it easier for the vet to see changes in your dog. For example, maybe your dog is gaining or losing weight. Maybe her breathing pattern has changed or she can’t see as well as she used to. If your vet hasn’t seen her routinely, these types of subtle but important changes are harder to diagnose and something important may be missed. Plus, yearly exams make sure you keep your dog up-to-date on vaccines.

Depending on their age and health history, your dog’s wellness exam may also include checking for any masses and bloodwork. This is vital because often, the quicker you notice something is wrong, the easier it is to treat and this can save you money. And if your dog has any prescriptions, an annual checkup is necessary in order to keep refilling his medication.

Young happy veterinary nurse smiling while playing with a dog
Image Credit: David Herraez Calzada, Shutterstock

Puppy vet appointments (Birth to 1 year):

Your puppy may go to the vet more often for his first shots, but once their vaccine schedule is completed, an annual wellness visit will suffice.

Adult dog vet appointments (1 year to 7 years):

A young adult dog will just need to go to the vet once a year for his annual wellness exam. This will include an overall wellness check, medication refills, and vaccine boosters.

Senior dog vet appointments (8+ years):

Your older dog will need to go in every six months for a checkup on blood work. Their time with us is already shorter than we would like, help ensure you get as much time with your best friend as possible by not skipping the vet.

Featured Image Credit: Marko Geber/Getty Images

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