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How Often Do Dogs Need to Visit the Veterinarian?

When does my dog need to see a veterinarian? How often do dogs need to see a vet? What symptoms in dogs require emergency veterinarian attention? When do dogs need to go to the vet? How many times a year does a dog go to the veterinarian? How often do pet dogs need to be taken to the veterinarian for vaccinations?

Many dog owners wonder just how often their dog needs to see the veterinarian. How often are vaccinations needed? When is a health problem an emergency? If you are a dog owner, or are considering getting a dog you need to keep in mind about ongoing veterinarian expenses and care needs for your pet dog.  What should you do when your dog is sick?

Normal Reasons to Take a Dog to the Veterinarian

A puppy should visit the veterinarian a few days before going to its new home. It takes a while for a vaccination to be effective. This is normally done around 6-8 weeks of age. Sadly many people give away puppies who are not vaccinated (or sell them unvaccinated), if you are a new owner and do not have proof of vaccination, your pup should see the veterinarian immediately for vaccination, worming, and a general health check.

The puppy will require booster shots, usually 30 days after the first shots are given, and may even need an other booster for rabies. After that dogs usually visit the veterinarian yearly for a check up and vaccinations.

Note:  Puppies who are not vaccinated should not be allowed out of your yard, they are at great risk for health problems such as Parvovirus.

Additionally female dogs who are not going to be used for showing and breeding should be spayed at 6 months, males should be neutered when there testicles have descended, around 8 – 10 months.

If a dog is pregnant she should visit the veterinarian for an examination to determine her health and how many puppies she is carrying.

Emergency Situations Requiring Veterinarian Attention

If your dog is experiencing one, or more, of the problems listed below, get your dog to the veterinarian immediately.  Be aware that most veterinarians do have 24 hour service, but you must phone in advance, and may have to pay extra, however if you ignore symptoms the problem could be far worse by the next day when the vet is open for regular hours, or your pet may be dead by then.

  • If the dogs temperature is more than one or two degrees above the normal range it should see a veterinarian. The normal temperature for a dog is 100.5-102F, 38-39.2C.
  • If the dog has lost consciousness.
  • If the dog is vomiting blood, is violently vomiting, or has vomited more than twice in one day.
  • If the dog has black, smelly, or bloody diarrhea, or if the dog has had diarrhea for more than two days.
  • If the dog is experiencing seizures or convulsions.
  • If the dog has been hit by a car, even if there are no obvious injuries.
  • If the dog has swallowed something, or ingested poison, such as antifreeze.
  • If the dog appears to be experiencing a loss of vision.
  • If the dog is refusing to drink for more than one day, or if the dog is refusing to eat for more than two days.
  • If the dog is stumbling when it walks.
  • If the dog is extremely lethargic.
  • If you suspect poisoning.
  • If you can see any injuries, or sudden swellings.
  • If the dog is experiencing any unexplained pains or discomforts.
  • If a normally friendly dog is suddenly showing signs of aggression.
  • A pregnant dog who is experiencing problems, or is more than 2 days overdue should see a veterinarian.

Note: There is no excuse not to take a sick, or ailing, dog to the veterinarian. If you cannot afford care, there are options. If you cannot afford care for a puppy, or dog, you should not get one.

Tip:  Never pay a cent for a dog that has not been checked by a veterinarian and comes with proof of vaccination.  It is also a good idea to get some sort of health guarantee on any puppy you are paying for.

Further Reading

How to Keep a Dog Healthy

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Comments (6)

Your kindness to help dog owners know when to go to the vet are admirable. Knowing the pet sure helps, but your composition spell out the alerts. Promoted.

Great article, my son has a dog and this will help him out a lot.

Another excellent article.

Returning with a well deserved vote up.

I often wondered myself how often one has to take her dog to the vet. thanks.

Ranked #3 in Pet Health

great article thanks so much

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