How Often to Bring Your Pet to the Vet – A Guide to Veterinary Care for Every Stage of Their Life

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No matter if you are a cat or a dog person, you love your pet like they are your own child. You want them to live long and healthy lives, so you try to provide them with the best care you can. Part of being a pet owner involves bringing your dog or cat to the vet. Do you know how often a pet needs to see a veterinarian? Health care for animals isn?t much different than healthcare for people, and just like human children, they need routine checkups to ensure they are healthy and growing. Veterinary care needs change with each phase of life that your pet goes through and you?ll need to stay up to date on all of their shots and vaccinations.

As a newborn kitten or puppy, your pet needs the most comprehensive medical care. From birth to a year old, many veterinarians recommend bringing your pet in every 3 to 4 weeks for vaccines. A veterinarian for dogs will give different vaccinations than a vet for cats, so it may be a good idea to bring your pet to an animal hospital or veterinary clinic that focuses on one type of animal. As your pet enters adulthood, the vet will monitor their growth and look for any signs of illness. After the 1 year mark and all vaccinations are administered, you won?t need to bring your pet in as often.

Your pet?s adult stage lasts from 1 year to about 7 to 10 years old, depending on the type of breed. Yearly checkups are necessary at this stage of life. Your pet will receive a basic physical examination which may involve a blood test just to check for any illnesses or disease. If there is an underlying health concern, a veterinarian will be able to catch it if you?re bringing your pet in annually as you should. Aside from yearly exams, you should stay in contact with your vet if anything unusual happens to your pet. With regular communication, your vet will better learn about your pet and can help you recognize what behavior is normal and what behaviors may indicate illness.

As your pet enters its senior years, veterinarians recommend twice-yearly checkups. Elder pets have different issues than their younger counterparts, like arthritis or worsening cataracts which may lead to blindness. If you notice any serious behavior changes in your pet like extreme lethargy, you want to tell your vet about them.

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