How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?
They say owning a dog is like having a child — only this one is furry, walks on four legs, and barks like crazy whenever something excites them.
How Often is Often Enough
Taking your dog to the vet every 3 or 4 months would be a good schedule to follow. Of course when your pet is acting differently, then it might warrant a visit to the vet.
There are reasons why going to the vet now and then can be beneficial to your dog and may even be a matter of life and death.
How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet
Ear and eye infections are quite common in dogs and it affects them more often than we realize.
Some infections are very serious and may even go away on its own, but why risk it when you can have it checked right away by their vet? For example, cherry-eye inflammation in dogs (when left untreated) can cause eventual blindness.
Some symptoms you may want to look further into are:
- Redness and swelling of the eye/s
- Discharge, whether thick or watery and has a foul smell
- Excessive blinking
- Sensitive to the light
- Pawing at the eye
The same can be said for ear infections for dogs. It may go away on its own but it is quite risky to let it be. An ear infection can cause serious damage to the dog’s auditory senses.
If you suspect your dog to be experiencing the following, head to your vet clinic as soon as possible:
- Scratching their ears and its surrounding areas
- Smelly and/or bloody discharge
- Loss of fur on the ear
- Redness and swelling in the ear, as well as scabs
- Rubbing their ear on surfaces
Another cause for concern is ticks and fleas. As you may well know, these are parasites that your dog can easily pick almost anywhere. Doggy daycare or spending afternoons at the dog park may be on hold for now until you take your canine friend to the vet. Ticks and fleas like to burrow themselves in the ears, in between paws, and around the chest area. Attempting to remove them at home may be futile; a professional should see to it and have it treated with the proper medications.
When we’re hit with allergies, usually a small dose of antihistamine is enough to prevent it from becoming worse. If the allergy is very mild, we might even leave it alone until our body gets rid of the allergen naturally. Unfortunately for dogs, their bodies don’t react the same way. Because they age at a much faster rate, their immune system deals with allergens in a much different way.
You know when your dog is suffering from an allergy attack when there is an open wound. If your dog was not recently hurt, then this wound could be a sign of an allergy and you may need to visit the vet.
Bladder Infections are Much More Common in Dogs Than We Think
Bladder infections in dogs are very common but also pretty preventable. The problem is that we don’t realize that the things we’re doing might be contributing to the development of a bladder infection in later years.
Bladder infection in dogs doesn’t come suddenly. They are usually a build-up of bacteria and sodium over time. If you suspect that your dog might be suffering from urinary or bladder infections, head to the vet right away. You would know when their urine smells differently, they have difficulty urinating, and their water intake changes.
A veterinarian will be able to correctly diagnose if your dog has an infection or not and give him a round of antibiotics. If left untreated, a bladder infection can cause renal failure.
By being more discerning of the dog food you feed your pet and by giving them their daily dose of vitamins, you can easily keep bladder infections from affecting your dogs.
Arthritis is a Problem to Dogs Too
Unfortunately for our furry pals, by the time they reach the age of two their metabolism processes nutrients differently. In the process their bones become malnourished. Malnourished bones mean it becomes weak, and weak bones often lead to arthritis.
For our dogs, arthritis has minimal effects in the beginning until the pain becomes unbearable. You’ll know your dog has arthritis when certain positions cause discomfort, such as walking, sitting, and changing positions.
Only with the help of a veterinarian can you truly assist your dog to become more comfortable in living with arthritis. Through their guidance, the right diet and exercise, your dog can live out the rest of their days in comfort.
Treat Diarrhea as an Emergency
Cramping. Loose bowel movements. Dehydration. Your dog feels the same way too when diarrhea hits them.
Causes of diarrhea could include contaminated water, expired food, or food that doesn’t agree with their tummy, or even bacteria they might have picked up when you played at the dog park. Whatever the case, it is best to go to the vet and have your dog checked. He may need fluids and antibiotics to treat diarrhea.
Your vet will be able to determine what caused diarrhea through some lab tests and will also prescribe that your dog undergo a special diet for the time being to help his or her tummy adjust.
Prevention is Key
It may be tempting to try to treat your pet home by giving them homemade remedies or by doing a quick search on the internet. Remember that no one can take the place of a licensed veterinarian and that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. Choose the right vet clinic to ensure that you have a partner in helping keep your pet dog healthy and happy.
Katie Elleray is an expert from Sugarland Vet Clinic. She’s a proud pet mom of a fluffy cat named Percy and an ebony shiz tzu named Hershey. She’s also a freelance writer of pet-lovers and travel blogs and in her free time, she does travel around with her pets. You can follow her on Twitter @EllerayKatie.