When a cat or dog is one year old, they usually only have to visit the animal hospital or veterinary clinic once a year. During this annual visit to the vet, the animals will undergo a complete physical exam to check for signs of concern. In addition, updated booster shots will be administered during annual visits, as needed. Veterinarians recommend bringing your dog in twice a year after he's seven to 10 years old, says PetMD.
In addition to vaccines and physical exams, vets will also perform blood and urine tests to check the health of your pet's kidneys and liver, thyroid hormone levels, and others, according to PetMD. In general, all dogs should have a complete physical exam at least once a year. Think of it as routine maintenance for your dog. These “wellness exams” give you the opportunity to track your dog's growth and development and discuss any concerns with your vet.
Most importantly, annual screenings are a key part of preventive care. Usually, once your puppy matures, you won't need to go to the vet as often. Adult dogs generally only need the DHPP and rabies vaccines every one to three years. The time frames vary depending on where you live, the types of vaccines and if they undergo a screening test, which checks the amount of antibodies in a previous vaccine to check that it continues to provide adequate levels of immunity.
Veterinarians suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets. Your cat or dog will receive vaccines when needed and will have a complete physical exam, along with tests to follow up on any problems. Blood and urine tests can provide the vet with exclusive information about your pet's kidney and liver health, thyroid hormone levels, and more. Once a dog is one year old, they are considered adult dogs.
Your veterinary needs change right now. Periodic health checkups for adult dogs should generally be performed once a year. The answer depends on your pet's life stage, says Susan Barrett, DVM, director of the community office at The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine. So instead of taking your pet to the vet only when it shows obvious signs of illness or injury, it pays to be proactive about preventive care.
Puppies should be vaccinated every three to four weeks until they are 16 weeks old, according to PetMD. Mention any changes you have observed in your pet, for example, if your cat drinks more water or if your dog is no longer enthusiastic about his daily walks. Like other aspects of pet care, how often you should take your dog to the vet depends on age and breed. For adult dogs, the following vaccines are considered critical for most dogs, according to Essentials PetCare, and some may not necessarily be given every year.
It is useful to bring a sample of fecal matter from your pet so that the vet can check for intestinal parasites. If you're concerned about the cost of visits to the vet, keep in mind that preventive medical care can keep your pet healthy for longer and even save money in the long run. Dani McVety, palliative care veterinarian and founding executive director of Lap of Love, explains that, in the case of some older dogs, in addition to a regular physical examination and vaccination, the vet is more likely to recommend blood tests and x-rays to assess the initial condition of the pet. At this stage, your pet will also start taking medications to prevent heartworms and fleas and ticks, if recommended for your area.
If your dog seems to be sick or you know that he has eaten something he shouldn't, monitor your pet for any alarming symptoms. The American Animal Hospital Association has published new guidelines on pet vaccines that suggest giving only certain boosters every few years, for example; it's worth talking to the vet for discussion if you have an adult dog. .