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Benefits of Regular Vet Visits for Your Dog

Posted: 07/19/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

You couldn’t ask for a better companion than a dog. Loyal. Funny. Will happily eat the incredibly dry pork chops your mother-in-law made without complaint. Because our dogs are so wonderful, we want to do everything we can to make sure they live a long and happy life. Part of ensuring this is getting them to the vet for their checkups. But how often should you take your dog to the vet and what are the benefits of regular vet visits for your dog?

Sadly, there are a lot of pup parents that don’t take their dog to the vet until or unless there is some sort of emergency. This really isn’t the right way to think of vet care. There are numerous reasons why your dog will benefit from seeing the vet on a regular basis:

Catch Health Issues Early

One of the biggest benefits of regular vet visits is catching any health issues early.

During a regular vet checkup, your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam to check your dog’s weight (have they lost or gained weight?) and temperature. They will also take a good look at their eyes, in their ears and mouth. They will take a good listen to your pup’s heart and lungs, and make sure their coat looks healthy. Depending on your dog’s age, they may even draw blood to check for any signs of disease (liver and kidney values, etc.).

If your dog is developing any sort of health issue, there is a much higher chance that it will be caught during one of these examinations. And that is REALLY important because when you catch a health issue early, you have a much better chance at treating it. When you let a health issue become serious, it is harder and more expensive to treat, and you don’t always get the happy ending you want.

It’s very hard for pup parents to detect something is going on before it’s already become a serious health issue.

Avoid Preventable Diseases

In addition to catching any serious disease that may be developing, veterinary wellness visits can also help you help your dog avoid preventable issues. A good example of this is vaccinations. Vaccines are an easy and affordable way to prevent many health issues. Heartworm preventatives and testing is another way to prevent bad health outcomes. 

Monitor Current Health Issues

If your dog is ever diagnosed with a health decision, such as arthritis, kidney disease or diabetes, you’ll want to see the veterinarian on a regular basis so your dog’s treatment plan may be monitored. Some conditions, like diabetes and arthritis, can remain the same for years while others may change very suddenly. Any changes in the health issue can be caught during a vet visit and your vet can then adjust medication and treatment plan accordingly. 

Even in those cases where it seems like your dog is responding very well to medications and the treatment plan, it’s still a good idea to get them in to see the vet according to the vet’s recommendation. This just helps you get the “all-clear”, which can give peace of mind when battling things like cancer and heart disease.

Build a Relationship with Your Vet

Going to the vet on a regular basis will help both you and your dog trust and feel comfortable with your vet and their staff. This can help your pup feel much more relaxed during exams. Your vet will also get to know your dog better and that will give them an advantage in the future to catch anything that seems…off.

It will also help you down the road should your fur baby ever be diagnosed with something serious. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your dog has been diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, and now you’re scrambling to find a vet you like and trust. Find one NOW and build a relationship with them so you can work as a team on your dog’s behalf.

How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

It is recommended you take your dog to the vet once per year. This can change depending on your dog’s age and current health status.

For instance, puppies need to go to the vet multiple times in the first year of their life for vaccinations. And most vets recommend you bring your senior dog in for checkups every 6 months. If your senior dog has been diagnosed with a health issue, you may need to bring them in even more. 

Your best bet is to speak with your vet and get their recommendation for your pup and follow their guidance. This way you can ensure your dog gets the absolute best care to live a long and happy life.

But Vet Visits Cost Too Much!

Though it is recommended by vets that you regularly take your dog in for checkups, there are various reasons pet parents decide to skip these wellness exams. A busy schedule or “my dog hates going” are a couple of common reasons.

But by far the most common reason is that veterinary care can be quite expensive. And it’s true. Depending on your budget, the cost of checkups and vaccinations, etc. may put a large dent in your finances.

We would say that people often pay far more when they allow a health condition to fester.  A good example of this is dog dental health. If your vet has not seen your dog in a few years, they may develop a bad infection in their mouth. This may require surgery to remove teeth and clean the rest. Those regular vet visits may have cost under $200 in total. But now you are looking at a bill that could cost $700 or more for surgery.

Second we would say that enrolling your pup into a health insurance plan is a surefire way to help pay for any expensive care they may need down the road. A good plan will help you pay a percentage of the costs associated with diagnostics and treatment, and some plans will cover as much as 90% of the bill. Some pet insurance companies also cover preventative care as an add-on that will help with the cost of vaccines, routine dental cleanings and more.

You can use our handy comparison chart to find pet insurance companies and quickly see coverage options and eligible expenses. You can also get a free customized quote from some of the top providers in the country.

The Benefits of Regular Vet Visits Can’t be Overstated

We can’t stress enough the benefits of regular vet visits for your fur baby. Never wait until you are sure there is an issue. Instead, get them in each year, if not more than once. Build a relationship with your vet to get the best health outcomes possible for your pup.

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  1. “How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?”
  2.—recommendations-for-new-owners-part-i—veterinary-care “Recommendations for New Puppy Owners”
  3. “Senior Dog Care – Special Considerations”

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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