Veterinary Care

How Often You Should You Be Taking Your Pet to the Vet

By Odie Blog Editors on April 23, 2021

When you agree to raise a pet, you are committing yourself to take care of all of your furry friend’s physical and emotional needs. Feeding, grooming, playing, and exercise: all are daily tasks that should be a part of your regular pet routine. 

However, a huge part of providing proper care for your animal is taking them to an animal hospital or vet clinic for regular checkups. A trusted veterinarian will perform a physical exam on your animal and assess its overall health and development. But how often should you be taking your pet to the vet?

0-1 Years:

During the first year of your pet’s life, they will need regular and frequent vet checkups to ensure that they are growing in a proper, healthy way. When you bring your puppy or kitten home, plan to visit the vet within a couple of weeks. You will have to bring your infant animals to the vet every three to four weeks for vaccines until they are sixteen weeks old. At this stage, and depending on your community requirements, your pet may also start heartworm, flea, or tick-prevention medications. At around six months, your vet may recommend that your animal be spayed or neutered. You can also take this time to ask your vet about housebreaking, training, and socializing, which are also signs of your animal’s health development.

1-7 Years :

“Adulthood” begins around 1 year of age. Once your pet is 1-2 years old, they will have to attend their yearly vet checkups. During these annual checkups, a vet will perform a complete physical check, take a blood sample, and administer updated booster shots as needed. You may be asked to bring in your pet’s stool sample, which the vet can check for intestinal parasites. Distemper-parvo and rabies shots happen during the first yearly checkup, and then usually every three years after that, but the frequency of these shots depends on what state you are living in. During these years of your pet’s life, it’s important to monitor your cat or dog for signs of pain, illness, or infection. If your furry friend is hurt or sick, then you should still take them to the animal hospital as soon as possible.

7+ Years:

Once your pet is over seven years old, they are official “seniors” animals! Vets recommend two checkups per year for senior animals, because the older your pets are, the most likely they are to develop health problems. Your vet will continue performing medical exams on your cat or dog, paying particular attention to blood and urine tests to check on the health of their internal organs. At this stage, your vet may recommend special diets or care instructions for your senior pet. You should also pay attention to any behavioral changes in your aging pet; if they are drinking more water than usual, or acting especially low-energy, then these could be early signs of disease. And the earlier your pet receives treatment, the better!

Just like your individual or family health care plan, pets need routine pet care coverage to help pay for their regular vet visits — vet visit coverage that can help keep your furry little friend in tip-top shape and ahead of any diseases and sicknesses that could keep them from feeling and being their best. There’s no reason to miss any of your scheduled vet visits because it’s all covered. Our Routine Care plans cover preventive care procedures that are done at routine visits such as vaccinations, flea and tick medications, and exams. To learn more about our Routine Care plans – how much you can save, what they cover, and our prices – go to our “Routine Pet Care Coverage” tab at the top of this webpage.

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