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How often should I take my dog to the vet?

Getting a dog is a serious commitment. They require constant care and attention, as well as scheduled visits to the vet to ensure their health is in good condition.

Many dog owners wonder how often they should take their pup to the vet, especially after the mandatory first few visits. As a rule of thumb, once your pup gets 1 year old, your visits to the vet will be fewer and fewer – once a year if your dog is in good health and no emergency strikes.

However, if you want a more detailed answer, this article will tell you about all the mandatory vet visits your dog should make.

The first visit to the vet

The first visit to the vet should be scheduled a few days after your new puppy comes home. Do this even if you know they are up to date with their shots because this will give your chosen veterinær a chance to meet the pup and get to know them.

Usually, the veterinarian will do a physical checkup and sometimes even some blood tests to ensure your dog is in good health condition. The doctor will also tell you when your next visit should be, depending on your pup’s vaccine scheme.

Wellness checkups

To ensure the good health of your dog, the veterinarian will advise you to schedule regular wellness checkups. These happen more often during the pup’s first 12 months of life and become less and less frequent as they grow older and stronger.

During a wellness checkup, the vet will observe the dog’s general appearance, including teeth, eyes, body weight and construction, fur, mouth, ears, and skin. He will continue with a more in-depth examination, including your pup’s pulse, heart rate, lungs, nerves, and chest.  

If everything seems normal, the vet will recommend these checkups once a year.

Scheduled vaccinations

Between the first 6 to 8 weeks of life, your pup will get their first vaccine at the dyreklinikk. This happens so that they build up their immune system, just as human vaccines do. The next vaccine will happen between 10 and 12 weeks of life, with the third one happening after the pup reaches their 16th week.

These are the first three series of vaccines a puppy will need, after which they will have to come in for annual shots and other boosters if necessary.

These vaccines help pups fight severe diseases such as canine parvovirus, rabies, canine distemper, as well as other diseases brought in by parasites. 

Unscheduled events

Some visits to the vet can’t be scheduled and will happen depending on your dog’s evolution. Teething is just one example and will start happening between weeks 3 and 8 of your pup’s life. If you see them frantically chewing on everything they get, it’s time to call the vet so that they can monitor the dog’s permanent teeth growth and treat potential discomfort.

Another unscheduled visit can happen when you decide to spay or neuter your pup if you don’t want to breed. This can be done once the pup reaches 8 weeks, but your vet will help you determine when the best time to do so is.