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How Often Do You Take a Dog to the Vet?

How Often Do You Take a Dog to the Vet?

As a pet owner, it's important to prioritize your dog's health and happiness. That's why scheduling regular visits to the veterinarian for preventive care is crucial in ensuring a long and joyful life for your dog. Our vets at Goleta guide how often you should take your dog to the vet.

Veterinary Preventive Care & Early Detection

Preventive care and early detection are key to keeping your pet healthy and preventing serious illnesses. 

Regular visits to the vet allow them to monitor your pet's health, catch diseases in their earliest stages, and recommend preventive care for your furry friend.

We understand that some pet owners may be concerned about the cost of checkups, but investing in your pet now can save you money in the long run. 

Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Pets

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

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

Puppies & Kittens Up to 12 Months Old

If your pet is less than a year old, then monthly visits to your vet are recommended.

During your puppy or kitten's first year, they are going to need several rounds of vaccinations to help keep them protected against common infectious diseases. Recommended vaccines for puppies include distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, corona, rabies, and leptospirosis. Kittens should receive their FVRCP vaccine, which helps to protect your feline friend against 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL). 

Your young friend will receive vaccines during a 16-week period to ensure their good health. The vaccination schedule may differ based on location and the pet's overall well-being.

It's also advisable to have your puppy spayed or neutered between 6 and 12 months old to prevent certain illnesses, unwanted behaviors, and unplanned litters. Our veterinarians highly recommend this. 

Adult Pets Up To 7 Years of Age

For healthy adult dogs aged 1 to 7 years old, it's recommended to schedule yearly routine exams. These checkups are necessary even if your pet appears to be in good health. 

During the exam, your vet will perform a thorough head-to-tail examination of your pet to detect any early signs of illness or other concerns, like tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.

They'll also provide necessary vaccinations, guide you on your dog's diet and nutritional requirements, suggest adequate parasite protections, and address any training or behavioral issues you may have noticed. 

In case your vet detects any signs of developing health problems, they will discuss their observations with you and suggest suitable next steps.

Senior Dogs

Dogs are typically considered senior or geriatric when they are about 8 years old, except in the case of giant breeds. Dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age more quickly than other breeds and will require more frequent preventive care earlier, typically starting around 5 years of age.

Since many animal diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets, we recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness checkups for your senior pet will include all of the checks and advice mentioned above but with a few added diagnostic tests to provide extra insight into your pet's overall health. 

Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.

Geriatric care for pets also includes a more proactive approach to keeping them comfortable as age-related issues like joint pain become more common. If you have a senior pet, ask your vet how often you should bring them in for a routine exam.

Wellness Plans

Many veterinarians aim to make preventive care more cost-effective for their customers by providing them with Wellness Plans.

At Goleta Airport Pet Hospital, we offer Wellness Plans for dogs of all breeds and sizes to help make your pet's routine healthcare easier on your wallet. Our Wellness Plans bundle all the preventive services your pet needs to stay healthy, including routine exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and more. Then, we give you an affordable monthly payment plan to help you save money and manage your budget.

Ask your vet about a Wellness Plan for your dog.

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. 

To book your pet's routine exam or vaccines, contact us today to book an appointment. Our Goleta veterinarians can help you to give your pet the gift of good health.

New Patients Welcome

At Goleta Airport Pet Hospital, we are always accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health and well-being of all Goleta pet companions. Contact us to book your pet's first appointment today!

Contact Us

(805) 968-4300