Just like human beings, animals need to see their doctors every now and then to make sure they are healthy even when they aren’t exhibiting any problems. So, how often should you take your pet to the vet?
Whether you got your dog at the pound or from a champion breeder, every new pet should be taken to the veterinarian for a first checkup, regardless of the animal’s age. Again, just as with humans, health problems are much easier to address if the are detected early.
In the next few paragraphs, we will discuss how often you should take your pet to the vet.
All cats and dogs must have their vaccination shots on a regular basis. Your vet will provide you with a comprehensive schedule and will explain the importance of these prophylactics. While it is true that most vaccination shots will be administered in the first year of your pet’s life, later vaccinations will determine how often you should take your pet to the vet.
Even if your pet is current with all of his vaccinations and immunizations and appears healthy, it is still important that your pet see a veterinarian at least once a year to make certain that everything is okay. Really, you have your cars checked by a professional every few thousand miles, why not your beloved pets?
When we talk about how often you should take your pet to the vet, there are a few fairly obvious situations when taking your pet to the vet is necessary.
After Consuming any Toxin
Okay, easy — right? But we’re not only talking about bleach or toilet bowl cleaner here. The fact is that ordinary human foods like chocolate, even raisins can be harmful to your pet, especially to dogs. And while animals usually aren’t attracted to these kinds of foods, sometimes, for unknown reasons, pets will consume them. For example, have you every seen your dog eat grass? Well, when they do, they often end up looking sick or have bouts of diarrhea. This is because canines are nearly pure carnivores, like cats, and when they eat a lot of plants and carbohydrates, it can throw their systems off.
When they’re not Eating
Again, this is an obvious one. When your pet is not eating, it is time to take him directly to the vet. Most domesticated animals are steady eaters and if they refuse to eat what is on their plate or in their bowl, it is a sure sign that they are not feeling well. Dogs, in particularly, are ravenous eaters. This may have something to do with the fact that their ancestors were scavengers and therefore were opportunistic eaters who would consume just about anything in the wild. So, if a dog is not eating, it’s time to call your vet and schedule and appointment.
On a related note, many commercial dog foods are poorly designed and do not contain the ingredients the average dog needs to remain healthy. For example, the primary ingredients of many cheap dog foods are wheat and corn. As we mentioned, dogs do not process carbohydrates particularly well. They are carnivores, for the most part, and while they can eat vegetables from time to time, they will be at their best if their diet contains far more meat protein that carbohydrates. That is why diet plays an important role in how often you take you pet to the vet.
After a Bite
If your pet is bitten by another animal, whether a bat, squirrel or raccoon, you should take them straight to the vet. As most pet owners know, diseases like rabies can be fatal to domesticated animal.