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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Often Should my pet Visit the Vet?

Visits to your vet can be time consuming and costly, and as a result, many individuals visit their veterinarian far less frequently than they should. It's always much better to invest in regular maintenance and preventative care, rather than waiting until an illness is very far along and requires more advanced treatment and more expensive pet meds. But how often, exactly, should you visit the vet?

While there are multiple specific occasions that will call for a visit to the veterinarian's office, a general checkup is called for on an annual basis. Having your dog or cat examined by a vet each year will make sure that your pet is as healthy and as happy as can be. This regular yearly visit can be a great way to catch potentially serious problems while they're still easy to treat.

In addition to this general rule, you will also want to get to your pet doctor's office as soon as possible in some other circumstances. From a prevention standpoint, if your dog is not up to date on vaccinations, then a trip to the vet's office is mandatory. These vaccinations frequently require more than one visit, and often have a scheduled lineup for maximum effectiveness. You will also want to have your pets fully examined immediately after you take ownership of them.

You should take your pets into the doctor if they start displaying strange behavior that is suspicious. This can range from a sudden loss in appetite, unexpected weight gain or loss, sharp changes in mood or behavior, and anything else out of the ordinary. All these may be signs of a much more severe problem.

Even if your pet hasn't displayed any negative behavior or worrisome symptoms, any bite from another animal, ingestion of toxins or unknown materials, or similar exposure to hazardous conditions should prompt a visit to the vet.