How Often Should my Pet Go to the Vet?

Taking your pet to the vet, among finding the right boarding facility are some of the many responsibilities that you have as a pet owner. Just like humans, pets need to get checked out by medical professionals to help to ensure that there are no existing health problems. Plus, by taking your furry friend to the veterinarian, you can help to prevent the onset of certain diseases, thereby saving you trouble and money in the long-run. In order to maintain your pet's health, he or she should be checked on a regular basis, as well as whenever you suspect that something might be wrong. The amount of times you visit the pet can also depend on your pet's age and overall health.

Wellness Checks and Vaccinations

You should take your pet to the vet once a year at the bare minimum. A vet conducts an annual wellness check in order to evaluate your pet's overall health, so that any underlying health problems can be caught before they become serious issues. Younger animals might require more frequent visits, but generally most adult dogs and cats can visit the veterinarian's office once a year. You might consider scheduling your next visit whenever you are at the vet's office so that you do not forget to take your pet to his or her wellness check when it is time.

Vaccines are an important way to guard your cat or dog against various diseases, especially if your pet resides outside for a significant period of time on a daily basis. Potential life-threatening illnesses can not only spread between other neighborhood animals that your pet comes into contact with, but some diseases can also be transmitted from rodents and birds in which your furry friend comes into contact with. In certain states, some vaccines are even mandatory; an example is the rabies shot.

In order to make sure that your pet receives needed vaccines, your vet will likely schedule the shots during the annual wellness check. However, some older pets might require some types of vaccinations every few years. Some factors include your pet's age and overall health, as well as whether he or she roams around outdoors or not. Generally, indoor dogs and cats do not require as many vaccinations. Also keep in mind that puppies and kittens will need to visit the vet's office more often during their first few months of life in order to receive vaccinations.

Illnesses

As a general rule of thumb, you should schedule a veterinarian visit as soon as you suspect that there may be something wrong with your pet. This is especially important if your dog or cat is not eating or drinking water, and is otherwise lethargic. Unlike humans, pets sometimes do not exhibit obvious signals of an illness. If your pet is just not his or herself for a few days in a row, then there is likely something wrong.

Taking your pet into the veterinarian's office for an emergency visit often results in an unexpected expense. For this reason, many pet owners make the mistake of skipping out on visits because they can't afford them. However, skipping out on a visit in hopes that your pet will recover on his or her own is simply not worth the risk. As a precaution, you might consider setting up an emergency fund that you can use in case your pet ever gets sick and you need to make an unplanned medical visit. If your furry friend gets ill on a regular basis, then you might consider purchasing pet insurance to help save you money over the long-term.

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