When should a dog go to the vet?
If you have a healthy adult dog they will need annual wellness exams and preventive care to help ensure their health. Having these visits annually are crucial as their health can drastically change in this time frame.
If you have a dog that suffers from any sort of health condition your vet will likely recommend bringing them in more frequently. This is also the case if you reside in an area that has an issue with certain parasites or diseases.
The Importance of Bringing Your Dog to the Vet
If you have a dog you know how important it is to keep them happy and healthy, they are a member of your family after all. By bringing them to their Westminster vet clinic for annual visits you can help prevent conditions and diseases which could not only be detrimental to their health but also life-threatening.
How many times a month should you take your dog to the vet?
For the first few months of your puppy's life, your vet will likely ask to see them on a monthly basis. This is to ensure their health and that they are developing as they should. Once your puppy is a little older you will only need to begin bringing them in once a year unless you notice any concerning signs or unless you are told otherwise by your vet.
Is it bad to not take your dog to the vet?
The main goal of veterinary visits is to keep your dog healthy. Your vet will use these visits to not only monitor your dog's growth but to also look for any signs of potential health concerns. By diagnosing and treating medical issues early you can help ensure that your pet gets the veterinary care they need as early as possible. Early treatment means a greater chance at recovery as well as preventing your dog from experiencing advanced symptoms of illness, injuries or diseases. If your vet has any concerns about your dog that may require advanced diagnostic testing, imaging or the care of a veterinary specialist they can make the referrals at this time.
These visits are also the time you have to speak with your vet about any concerns that you may have while they can offer recommendations and advice for your dog regarding, behavior, diet and health.
What happens during your dog's vet visit?
When you bring your pet in to see us for their wellness exam your vet will review your pet's medical history and ask if there is anything about your dog or cat's health or behavior that you are concerned about. Your vet will also ask you about your pet's diet, lifestyle, exercise routine, level of thirst, and urination.
Many veterinarians request that pet owners bring along a fresh sample of their pet's stool (bowel movement) in order for a fecal exam to be performed. Fecals are a valuable tool when it comes to detecting intestinal parasites that can severely impact your pet's health.
Next, your vet in Westminster, CO will perform a physical examination of your pet which generally includes the following:
- Weight Monitoring
- Checking For Irregular Gait
- Examination of Feet & Nails
- Listening to the Heart & Lungs
- Looking For Dryness, Parasites, or Lumps
- Checking Eye Health
- Examining Your Dog's Ears
- Looking at Your Dog's Teeth & Gums
- Feeling For Issues or Painful Areas
- Palpate Their Abdomen Watching For Concerns
Annual vaccines will also be given at your pet's wellness exam, based on the appropriate schedule for your cat or dog. Vaccinations for puppies and kittens, as well as booster shots for adult dogs and cats, are an important part of giving your animal their very best chance at a long and happy life. Keeping your pet up to date on vaccines throughout their life will help to protect your furry friend against a range of contagious, potentially serious, diseases and conditions.
When to Seek Emergency Veterinary Care
Since dogs can’t talk, it’s often difficult to know when to treat them yourself and when a trip to the vet is in order. Some minor emergencies can be treated at home, but if you’re unsure of what to do, you could try calling your vet for advice.
That said, if there’s a threat of imminent death or severe injury, our team at Choice Veterinary Specialists recommends bringing your dog to the closest emergency animal hospital in Westminster as soon as possible.
Some of the signs that your dog is in need of emergency veterinary care are:
- Difficulties Breathing
- Persistent Vomiting / Diarrhea
- Obvious Signs of Trauma
- Ingestion of Toxic Substance
- Inability to Urinate / Defecate
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.