As an adult, you might not see the doctor as much as you did when you were a child, or as much as your elderly parents do. This is standard for most humans, and it also applies when taking care of your dog. If you’re wondering just how often you should be getting them a checkup from the veterinarian, use the following guide to see how age affects this frequency.

How Your Dog’s Age Should Influence Their Veterinarian Visits

The First Six Months
When you first purchase or adopt a puppy, you’ll need to take them for an initial veterinarian visit—arguably, the most important one. During this appointment, your pet will receive crucial vaccines to protect them from illnesses small animals are most susceptible to, as well as screenings for existing issues like parasites or developmental conditions. Every three to four weeks following this first appointment, you’ll return to the vet for more shots. After about eight weeks, the veterinarian will likely start your pet on heartworm treatment, followed by flea and tick prevention treatments at 12 weeks. At six months, your puppy may need to be spayed or neutered.

After your dog celebrates their first birthday, they’ll hopefully be on their way to a healthy, happy adulthood. For the first seven years of their life, you only need to take them to the veterinarian once a year for a checkup. However, you should head to the vet if your pet starts acting differently, such as showing no interest in playing outside. In about three years, they may need follow-up vaccinations.

Elder Years
While every breed is different, most dogs are considered “senior” around 7 to 10 years of age. During these years, several age-related conditions can develop, such as arthritis. Senior pets are also more prone to serious conditions like kidney or liver disease. The earlier these issues are detected, the better chance your pet has of feeling better and living longer. That’s why it’s important to schedule veterinarian visits at least every six months at this stage of life.

To keep tabs on your pup’s health at every stage of life, turn to Wards Corner Animal Hospital of Loveland, OH. Dr. Timothy Henehan has over three decades of experience caring for dogs, cats, and other beloved pets. From initial vaccinations, to spay and neuter surgeries, to geriatric care, you can trust this team to keep your companions in excellent shape. Learn more about our services or call (513) 683-2883 to make an appointment.