It hurts to see your favorite pet dog suffering from an illness; more than that, you cannot afford to lose them. Pets have a supernatural charm that relieves our stress, sadness, and the feeling of aloneness. Dogs, in particular, have that unique space in our hearts and our families.
Having a pet dog is not just for fun; it entails the responsibility of providing the proper nourishment, giving them attention, comfortable space and place at home, and the best treatment they could ever have. They are more than just animals, they have feelings, and they have weaknesses.
For us humans, we need to see a doctor at least once or twice a year for a general check-up. The same goes for our pet dogs; they need to see a veterinarian at least once a year, even if they look good and healthy.
The frequency of taking your dog to the vet is determined by its life stage and its general health. They are like humans too. Young ones like puppies and senior dogs need more frequent visits with the vet than healthy adults.
Visits to the veterinarian always entail a cost, but it is still safer to take early actions than regret neglecting the first signs of your dog’s illness. It will both save you money and your pet’s life.
Prepare to be a parent
See to it that when you adopt a puppy or welcome a dog in the family, you can give all his needs from day 1. Puppies like babies need regular and on-time vaccinations.
Birth to One Year
Having a puppy will make you get acquainted with the vet. Monthly wellness exams are recommended during your pet’s early puppyhood. It will be once every 3-4 weeks until your pet is 16 weeks old, following a basic vaccine schedule.
The following are the basic vaccination schedule for your puppies.
8 weeks: 1st DA2PP vaccine (combined vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, and corona). This is given in a series over your puppy’s first year.
10 to 12 weeks: 2nd DA2PP and Leptospirosis injection
14 to 16 weeks: 3rd DA2PP and Leptospirosis injection. At this time, rabies is also given at 16 weeks or older, and then the booster shot is within 12-36 months stage of the dog.
One year to 7 to 10 years (Adult stage)
During this stage, your vet will recommend a yearly check-up for your dog. Your pet will have a head-to-tail physical check-up.
The doctor will also require a blood sample from your dog to check for heartworms. It is done through an antigen test. Mostly, the test can accurately detect infections with one or more adult female heartworms. The antigens or the heartworm proteins can be detected in a dog’s bloodstream in as early as five months after an infected mosquito bite it.
During the general check-up, if the vet finds some health issues or unusual results, you may be required to let your dog undergo further examinations to be sure about his condition.
During the first yearly check-up, distemper-parvo and rabies booster shots are given then usually every after 3 years. How often animals get rabies boosters depends on state law.
Other vaccines include Bordetella, Giardia, and Lyme. Bordetella vaccine is initially given at the 14 weeks stage of your puppy as protection against kennel cough among dogs, which is very contagious.
Dogs are also prone to worms. You will know if they have it when showing signs such as appetite loss, diarrhea, or vomiting. With a routine worming treatment, common worms are readily controllable. Your dog should be wormed every two weeks until twelve weeks of age and monthly until six months. After six months, every three months, they should again be wormed for adequate protection. It would be best to bring in a stool sample from your dog for the intestinal parasite test.
7 to 10 Years and Older (Senior stage)
For older pets, it is advisable to have a twice a year check-up. Blood and urine tests will help the vet determine kidney, liver, thyroid, hormone levels, and more. If would also help if you note down any unusual changes or behavior you observe from your pet. When it is time to visit the vet, you can tell your observation for faster ruling out of your pet’s illness.