Our pets enrich our lives, providing companionship and support when we need it most. It’s only natural, then, that we want to give our pets a happy, healthy life in return. Part of that care is making sure Fluffy or Fido gets regular veterinary checks, but how often should that be? This post will weigh in on how often your dog or cat needs to see the vet and why.
Reasons for Vet Visits in Columbus, Ohio
Your reason for visiting the vet should determine the frequency of visits. For example, if your dog or cat shows signs of illness, injury, or unusual behavior, you should make a vet appointment as soon as possible. Quick action is the best way to prevent illness and injury from worsening.
If your pet is healthy, however, you still need to regularly see your veterinarian. Why? To make sure your pets receive their necessary vaccines and are screened for any potential illnesses. The cost of preventative care and early detection far outweighs the financial and emotional toll a serious or potentially fatal condition can have on you and your pet. In this post, we’ll specifically be focusing on how often your healthy pet should see the veterinarian.
How Often Puppies and Kittens Should See the Vet
Puppies and kittens should be seen by your vet every 3-4 weeks starting at 6-8 weeks of age until the end of their puppy or kitten vaccine series. The reason for these frequent visits isn’t just because your four-legged friend is super cute–though they very much are! Puppies and kittens under one year of age need to see the vet regularly because they are still developing their immune systems and need to receive specific vaccinations to protect them against diseases that could prove fatal.
Both puppies and kittens are required to receive rabies vaccines in Columbus, Ohio. Puppies typically also receive vaccines to protect them from distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo (DA2PP vaccination), and leptospirosis, as well as others based on their risk of exposure. In addition to rabies vaccines, kittens also receive the FVRCP vaccine which protects them against serious feline diseases Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL) and the feline leukemia vaccination. If they have not been tested previously, kittens will also be tested for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which requires a small blood sample. Also, be sure to have a fecal sample ready for your veterinarian to screen your pet for intestinal parasites.
A new puppy and kitten visit also includes discussions on spaying and neutering. The recommended age to spay and neuter your pet depends on several factors including breed and projected adult weight. Spaying and neutering your pets not only increases their odds of a long, healthy life but also helps the problem of overpopulation in the Columbus area.
How Often Adult Dogs and Cats Should See the Vet
Adult dogs and cats should have yearly vet visits for routine exams, much like humans. During these exams, your vet will inspect your pet from head to toe to tail, looking for any early signs of disease or other issues. These routine exams are a great way to head off any issues with teeth, digestion, weight, and more. Your vet may recommend a certain type of food for your pet or advise on exercise regimens if necessary.
Your pet will likely receive vaccinations during this yearly visit as well. There are two core vaccines and several optional vaccinations for dogs. Optional vaccines are only recommended based on the risk of exposure. Adult cats should remain up-to-date on the FVRCP and rabies vaccinations. Only cats at risk of exposure to FeLV need to receive the feline leukemia vaccine as an adult. At Your Visiting Veterinarian, we will create an individualized vaccination plan for your pet based on its specific risks.
During these visits, be sure to mention anything you might be concerned about and ask questions about your pet’s health. If your vet notices any cause for concern, they will address their concerns with you, establish a treatment plan, and set up any necessary follow-up appointments. If all is well, they’ll simply set up an appointment to see your pet next year.
How Often Senior Cats and Dogs Should See the Vet
Caring for your pet in its golden years is both an honor and a privilege. Whether you adopted them as a senior or had them since they were young, the bond between owner and senior pet is a special one. Naturally, you want to make sure they are comfortable and healthy.
Senior pets should see the vet once every six months. Injuries are more common with senior pets due to weakening bones and muscular tissue. Likewise, heart disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and certain cancers are more common in old age, so it’s important to regularly screen for these once your pet becomes a senior.
How do you know your pet is a senior? While cats are considered to be seniors at around eleven years of age, dogs reach seniority at around eight years old. Large dog breeds, like Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, and Mastiffs are considered seniors when they’re around five years old.
Columbus Mobile Veterinary Care Makes Vet Visits Easy and Convenient
Getting your pet to the vet can sometimes be difficult. Whether you’re facing mobility issues, have a difficult schedule, or your pet just doesn’t do well with the stress of traveling, there are other options available besides going to your local veterinarian’s office.
Your Visiting Veterinarian specializes in mobile veterinary services in the Columbus, Ohio area. We aim to take the stress out of veterinary care for both you and your pet and provide a more personalized experience. Your Visiting Veterinarian offers services from preventative care and vaccines to illness and injury and more. We even assist with difficult procedures like at-home euthanasia.
If you want to give your pet the best veterinary care from the comfort of your Columbus home, Your Visiting Veterinarian is the perfect choice. Reach out today to schedule an appointment for your dog or cat or learn more about our services.
Our pets mean the world to us. For a long, happy life, make sure your pet receives regular veterinary care based on age and health. Frequent vet visits can help prevent disease and ensure your cat or dog is healthy and comfortable. We wish for nothing else but happy, healthy pets in the Columbus area.