A big part of being a good pet owner is your visits to the veterinarian. Outside of an annual check-up, it’s important to see the vet if you’re concerned that your pet is sick. It can be tempting to hope the pain or behavior change corrects itself, but remember that waiting may make an issue or illness harder to treat.
To start, you may be wondering how often you need to take your pet to the vet.
If you’ve recently adopted a puppy, expect to make a few vet visits over the next six months. Your pup may receive their first check-up prior to your adoption. At this visit, when they are two to three weeks old, the vet will give them dewormer medication and check their overall health. Their next appointment will be at six to eight weeks. They will receive their first vaccinations, heartworm medications, and flea and tick preventative treatments as well as a microchip. You may need to make follow-up appointments for vaccines at 12 and 16 weeks. The vet may recommend additional wellness checks as well.
Most healthy, adult dogs require a yearly check-up with the vet. However, depending on age, breed, health, and location, you may need to go more often. For instance, if you live in an area with ticks (like Central Florida!), your dog may need to be regularly tested for Lyme disease.
As mentioned above, if your dog’s behavior suddenly changes, it’s important to see a vet right away. Be aware of changes to eating or drinking habits, breathing, vomiting, lack of energy, and signs of pain, like whining or wincing.
Many dogs are afraid of the vet — so if you dread your visits, know you’re not alone!
Consider the following tips next time you head to the veterinarian’s office:
Keep calm! You don’t want your stress to make your pet feel even more anxious.
Take regular car rides to avoid your dog associating the car with the vet. If they’re uncomfortable in the car, add a bed or blanket for them.
Be extra affectionate, especially when your pet appears stressed. Reward good behavior with treats or a new toy.
Be patient if they have an accident in the waiting room. Remember that they’re scared and unsure.
Only use a muzzle if your dog is very aggressive and may hurt other people or pets.
Once you find a good vet, stick with them! Your dog will respond better to a familiar face.
Cats can be particularly challenging to take to the vet, as these animals usually prefer to stay home.
First, it’s important to invest in a good carrier, which can be found at your local pet store. If your cat won’t willingly walk into the carrier, try to trick them with a treat or toy. Avoid forcing them inside, as this will only add to their stress. If time permits, consider leaving the carrier open next to their food or toys. That way, they will begin to recognize and use it on their own. During the car ride, be sure to strap the carrier in place. Keep the windows rolled up to block out any extra noise. Finally, once you return home, leave them in the carrier for a few seconds to allow them to adjust to their surroundings.
Let The Urban Dog Group help you with your real estate needs. Contact Christine Elias at firstname.lastname@example.org.