For Pet Parents

How Often Should Pets Visit the Animal Hospital?

Kittens can begin to receive their vaccinations when they’re between six and eight weeks old. This is something an animal’s original owner should usually begin doing before it goes on to its forever home, whether it’s a kitten or a puppy. But after vaccinations, how often should you take your cat to the vet clinic? How often does your dog need to visit the animal hospital for a checkup?

When you have a pet, it’s your responsibility to take care of the animal properly throughout its life. And a significant part of caring for a pet is taking them to the animal hospital or veterinarian for proper health care. To learn when and how often to take your pet to the animal hospital for wellness checks, keep reading.

During the First Year

Your puppy or kitten is likely to be around four months old when you bring them home. If they’re any younger than that, you should be taking them to the vet every three to four weeks to get them all their vaccinations, as well as for general checkups. These vaccinations and tests for diseases are essential for all young animals.

When they’re four months old, it’s time for your pet to be spayed or neutered. If your pet was originally a stray, you may want to begin a flea medication for them as well.

From the time they’re four months to a year old, your pet should be taken to the vet for a wellness checkup every couple of months or so. These regular visits will help you ensure that they are growing properly and in good health.

During Regular Adulthood

After your cat or dog is one year old, they will only need to visit the vet clinic or animal hospital once every year. During this annual visit, your pet will have a complete physical done to check for potential signs of developing health conditions.

In addition to this physical, booster shots will be given to animals during this yearly checkup as needed.

While you should take your cat or dog to the vet once a year as a cautionary measure, it’s important to realize that you can bring your animal in at any time if you feel you have cause to be concerned. If your pet shows signs of illness or pain, you must take them to the animal hospital for a checkup and possible treatment. This way the vet will be able to address the problem right away, instead of waiting for your annual visit.

During Senior Years

Just as with human beings, pets tend to require more health care as they grow older. For this reason, experts recommend that dogs and cats be brought in to vet for checkups two times per year, instead of just once.

Along with a normal physical checkup, and any additional vaccines that may be needed, senior pets may receive additional, specialized health tests during their visit. These may include tests to check for recurrences of past health problems, blood tests, and urine tests to ensure their internal organ health is as it should be.

During these twice-yearly checkups, it’s very important that you share with your vet any unusual activity exhibited by your pet or recent changes in their behavior that seem suspicious. The vet needs to know about any changes in your pet’s home life to properly assess their condition and make the right choices for your animal.

By visiting the veterinary hospital regularly, you can help your beloved pet stay as healthy as possible. Keep the above information in mind and you’ll be able to keep your furry friend around for a long time in excellent health.

The Importance of Routine Vet Check-Ups for Your Dog

Current statistics indicate that the number of animal hospitals has been increasing. The number of veterinary clinics currently stands at around 26,000 in the country. Despite the increasing number of animal hospitals, a good number of pet owners have not been taking their pets for necessary checkups. Here are just some of the reasons why you should take your dog in for annual checkups.

1. General Dog Health

You are already taking your pet to the veterinary clinic when they are sick or injured, but those visits typically concentrate on a particular issue. Annual checkups are essential because they are holistic in nature. This allows your vet to monitor subtle changes in your pet’s overall health and prevent small issues from growing into bigger problems. When you take your dog to a Sykesville animal hospital, the vet will conduct a comprehensive exam in order to prevent or treat any underlying health issues.

2. Vaccinations

When you take your puppy to a veterinary clinic for the first time, your veterinarian will provide you with a vaccination schedule. It’s vital that you follow this schedule to keep your dog safe and healthy from preventable health issues. Some of the common vaccinations that you will get from a vet clinic include Bordetella, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, and the rabies vaccination. Be sure that your dog is up-to-date on their shots every time you go in for their annual checkup.

3. Dental Care

Many pet owners don’t know that their dogs need dental care. Just like humans, dog teeth are susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay. During your annual dog checkups, your vet will get the opportunity to examine your dog’s teeth and determine whether or not they need cleaning. Studies show that dental care is an important aspect of your dog’s health, especially in older dogs. Poor dental hygiene can become so severe that your dog may have trouble eating. Worse yet, poor dental health can also breed bacteria, which is the source of several dog diseases. At the Sykesville veterinary hospital, you will learn how you will take care of your dog’s oral health from the comfort of your home.

4. Senior Dog Care

Just like human beings, dogs tend to experience more problems as they age. Therefore, the frequency of checkups should increase with the age of your dog. Give your dog the healthcare they deserve by bringing them to a veterinary clinic you trust.

5. Weight and Body Condition

Sadly, obesity is a condition that affects many dogs. Routine dog checkups are essential in determining the weight of your dog and their general body condition. If your dog is overweight, they may experience a variety of health issues, including diabetes and joint pain. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help get their health back on track. Diet monitoring and exercises are recommended by veterinary clinics but these are just some of the measures you can take to manage the weight of your dog.

With regular checkups, your dog will remain happy and active, regardless of age. When you’re ready to take your pet’s health more seriously, don’t hesitate to visit the experts at Sykesville Veterinary Clinic.

How to Know When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

If you’ve had a dog for very long, you probably know all the basics: most dogs need to be taken on walks at least once per day and they should visit a vet or animal hospital once per year for an annual checkup.

But what about when there’s something wrong with your pet demanding medical attention? Would you know what to look out for?

There are many reasons why dogs are good pets. But as human-like as they often seem, dogs can’t tell us when they aren’t feeling well. We have to be observant enough to notice when they seem under the weather and prepared to know what to do when sickness or injury occurs.

To help you better care for your canine friend, the following are seven warning signs that you should take your dog to the vet.

1. Sudden Weight Loss

If your dog loses weight very suddenly or faster than normal, you should take them to the vet. This goes for dogs at any weight, even if your dog tends to be overweight. When an animal loses weight suddenly and unexpectedly, it could be a sign of a serious health condition. If your dog loses 10% of its body weight, you should tell your vet (in small dogs, this could be as little as one pound).

2. Dragging or Scooting Rear

While it can look amusing when your dog starts to drag its rear around, it’s no laughing matter. It could be a sign that your dog has worms, diarrhea, blocked or infected anal glands, or a urinary tract infection. In any case, you should take your dog to your vet clinic if you notice this kind of behavior.

3. Acting Tired or Sluggish

If your dog suddenly seems lethargic and tired all the time, there may be something bothering them. If your dog is usually at least somewhat active, but they’re suddenly uninterested in playing, taking walks, or doing other activities they used to enjoy, take note. Fatigue and sore muscles are normal after a lot of activity or during high temperatures, but if your dog’s condition persists for more than two days, you should take them to the vet.

4. Unusual Eating Habits

It’s not unusual for dogs to occasionally skip a meal, especially if the weather is hot. However, if your dog refuses to eat for two days, this is a definite red flag that something isn’t right. In these cases, you should take your dog in for an examination.

Certain diseases cause dogs to develop unusual eating habits. If your usually well-behaved pet suddenly begins routinely raiding the pantry or garage for snacks, they may have a problem.

5. Dry or Rough Fur

A healthy dog’s coat should be shiny, soft, and thick. If your dog’s coat becomes dull, dry, or rough, or if it develops bald patches, there’s most likely something wrong. The solution could be as simple as changing dog food brands, or as complicated as getting treated for a disease. Either way, a trip to the vet is a must for these symptoms.

6. Vomiting

As disturbing as it may seem to us, occasional vomiting is not unusual for dogs and other animals. Often they just need to get rid of something that didn’t sit well with them. However, if your dog starts vomiting frequently or several times in a row, vomits blood, or has a fever and vomits, you should call your vet immediately. Severe vomiting could go on to cause diarrhea or severe dehydration, so don’t wait to seek treatment.

7. Red or Cloudy Eyes

If your dog’s eyes become red or cloudy, this could be a result of an infection or injury. Squinting or excessive discharge coming from your dog’s eyes are also details that should concern you. In any of these cases, you should take your dog in for a checkup as soon as possible. Diseases that affect the eyes can progress very quickly and some can cause blindness. Medication can often cure these types of conditions.

By keeping a watchful eye on your pet and knowing what to look out for, you can expect to enjoy many happy years of companionship with them.

3 Tips on Caring for Puppies

Everyone loves the idea of having a puppy. They’re cute, fun, and make an exciting addition to the family. However, they come with a lot of responsibility. They take up your time, money, and patience in many different ways. Educating yourself on how to care for a puppy and what to expect when they come home is a great way to make sure you are fully prepared. This will save you from a great deal of stress and will make sure that your new pet is as happy as can be. There are several basic guidelines that one should follow when caring for a puppy. As long as you follow these, you and your dog should be able to get by just fine.

1. Go to the Vet

Going to the vet clinic for annual checkups is something you should be prepared to do throughout your dog’s life. They allow you to track your dog’s health in case anything changes that is worth some concern. It’s also a good time to update them on any vaccines they need. Even if you adopt a puppy who is already up to date on its shots, it’s still a wise idea to have them looked over by a vet to make sure they are in the best health possible.

Pet vaccinations are important because they help to protect your pet’s health. Puppies can be susceptible to a number of illnesses without the right protection. In order to ensure that they stay healthy and safe for years to come, visit your local veterinary clinic regularly.

2. Make a Puppy Schedule

Navigating work and life while raising a new puppy can be hard on your schedule. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Creating a schedule and finding out how to make things work with your new family member before they come home will make things easier. If you know you will be at work for long hours, hire someone to come walk them and check in on them. They need a lot of exercise and attention, so if your plan is to leave them in a kennel for hours at a time, you might want to reconsider getting a dog until you or a member of the house have more free time. You also need to make time for training, socializing, and bonding with them.

3. Prepare for Them to Grow

Something that many people don’t think about when they bring home a new puppy is that unless the breed is naturally small, that dog is going to grow. Many of the behaviors that seem cute from a puppy, such as jumping or nibbling on fingers, won’t be so cute anymore when you have a larger dog on your hands. It’s wise to keep in mind that whatever habits they learn as puppies will carry over into adulthood, so make sure you train them to behave the way you want them to when they are fully grown.

With the help of these three tips, it should be easier to keep your new dog happy and healthy. It will also help to keep you sane while you are managing life with a puppy. Preparation and dedication both go a very long way when it comes to successfully adding a new fuzzy family member to your home.

Four Reasons Why Dogs Are Good Pets

Dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years. According to some research, dogs may have been the first animal that humans domesticated, predating the domestication of goats, sheep, cattle, and boars by over 3,000 years. Here are four reasons why dogs are good pets to this day.

Humans and Dogs Evolved Together

Dogs began to diverge genetically from wolves about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. The earliest domestication of dogs is understood to have begun about 15,000 years ago. Why the difference?

One theory is that the ancestors of modern dogs began living around humans before they were eventually domesticated. These ancestral dogs found that humans produced garbage that made for an easy food source. According to this theory, humans and dogs essentially formed overlapping units with one another, as they are both social animals. Humans accepted dogs into their social units and dogs accepted people into their packs.

With domestication, humans began affecting dog evolution, both intentionally and unintentionally. For example, wolves are primarily carnivores but living with humans required dogs to evolve the ability to digest starches that were found in human agricultural communities. Humans also began to selectively breed dogs to enhance behavioral qualities, such as non-aggression to humans. In fact, it is believed that earliest dogs were selectively bred for behavioral traits, such as tameness and reduced fear and aggression, rather than physical traits. Humans were already figuring out why dogs are good pets.

Humans and Dogs Learned From Each Other

One interesting theory about why dogs make good pets is that dogs taught early humans as much as early humans taught dogs. Before the domestication of dogs, humans were primarily small game hunters. After the domestication of dogs, humans began hunting large animals.

This could have occurred because humans observed and imitated packs of wolves and dogs hunting large prey or because humans were emboldened by the abilities of their new companions to seek larger prey. Either way, this theory suggests that dogs were instrumental in the shift in humans’ food source. This view of the relationship between dogs and humans also theorizes that the territoriality and communal defense displayed by wolves and dogs also influenced early humans to cooperate to defend hunting grounds.

Humans and Dogs Help Each Other

The first tasks dogs performed for humans required no training. Dogs helped keep campsites clean by eating refuse and vermin. Dogs also warned humans, albeit unintentionally, when predators would approach the campsite.

As dogs and humans continued to live together, humans found more tasks that dogs could perform. Rather than focusing on why dogs are good pets, humans focused on why dogs are good partners. Over time, breeding and training led to dog breeds that could assist humans in hunting, herding, and guarding. Even the 28 breeds of dog categorized as “toy” breeds perform the functions of companionship and, in earlier times, providing a status symbol for the owner. Modern dogs can assist with many tasks including:

  • Pulling sleds
  • Acting in movies and TV
  • Searching and rescuing
  • Detecting bombs and drugs
  • Assisting people with disabilities, such as leading the visually impaired

Humans and Dogs Understand Each Other

The simplest answer to the question “Why are dogs good pets?” is that dogs and humans have a unique understanding of each other. An average dog understands between 150 to 250 words. However, dogs also understand non-verbal communication. According to some studies, dogs understand when a human points at something with no training. In fact, dogs recognize pointing better than our closest primate relatives, bonobos and chimpanzees, and are on par with a two-year-old human child.

Research also suggests that this non-verbal communication between dogs and humans is a two-way street. Dogs have adapted to display — and humans have adapted to recognize — such dog expressions as the tilted head, the wagging tail, and the raised brow.

With this long history, many reasons can be cited about why dogs are good pets. Dogs are loyal, friendly, and protective by nature. But more than that, dogs and people share a relationship based on mutual benefit and communication that is unique in the animal kingdom.

What Skin Problems Affect Old Dogs?

As dogs age, many develop uncomfortable skin conditions. These conditions can be worrying to owners and make dogs vulnerable to other diseases without proper treatment. Luckily, many of these skin problems are very common and can be treated at a vet clinic. Watching for signs of old dog skin problems is an important part of senior dog care.

Fleas, Mites, and Insects

Dogs need regular daily walks. When you’re traversing your favorite trails or visiting your favorite hiking spots, this can leave your pets vulnerable to a whole host of pests. This includes common insects such as fleas, mites, ticks, and even mosquitos, but more serious bites might also occur when traveling on new terrain. Scratching, itchy bites can cause a dog’s skin to become irritated and make it vulnerable to disease.

If your dog is licking, scratching, and biting its fur more than usual, this is a good indicator that it might be troubled by insects. Other symptoms include red patches of skin or thinning fur in spots on the dog’s body or red or brown flecks in the dog’s coat. The best way to avoid the issues caused by insects is to discuss flea and tick treatment with your veterinary staff at your dog’s annual checkup.


Many dogs today struggle with allergies, which often affect their skin. Even if your dog never had allergies as a pup, dogs can develop allergies at any stage of life. An old dog might be struggling with allergies if it is experiencing irritated skin along with swelling or hives. Dogs with food allergies often also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Luckily, an animal hospital can administer a blood test to determine if a dog has allergies and recommend the proper treatment.


Canine dermatitis is a type of inflammation of the skin, usually as a result of exposure to environmental allergies. Since allergies often worsen as a dog ages, it is not unusual for an old dog to develop this skin condition. Signs of dermatitis include excessive itching, scratching, and rubbing on carpets or furniture. It also includes changes in a dog’s coat, especially if flakiness or oiliness is present. Particularly itchy spots that a dog scratches too much can develop into painful open sores that must be treated at a veterinary hospital.


Noticing problems with an aging dog’s coat or skin can alarm pet owners, but many old dog skin problems can be treated effectively. However, since the symptoms of different skin conditions can overlap, it is best to let a veterinarian diagnose the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sykesville Veterinary Clinic today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Checkups

Unlike people, pets often cannot tell owners when they need medical attention. Owners can look for signs that the pet is sick or injured, but some medical issues are not symptomatic. Additionally, pets require regular checkups and vaccinations. The care required for pets varies widely depending on the age of the pet. Puppies and kittens and senior dogs and cats, require different levels of care than healthy adult pets. Most people are not aware, for example, that puppies should be fed three times a day until they are six months old. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about pet checkups:

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet for Well Checks?

While every cat should see a vet at least once a year, many vets recommend a well check every six months. The number of visits also depends on the age of the cat. Kittens and senior cats require more frequent visits than adult cats. A veterinary clinic can provide a schedule of visits based on the age and health of your cat.

What Should You Expect During a Cat Well Check?

After the question “how often should you take your cat to the vet,” the question asked most often is probably “what should I expect during a well check.” Aside from vaccinations, a vet clinic will often conduct a blood test, a stool test, and, possibly, a urine test. The blood test is intended to determine whether the cat has feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, as well as other diseases. The stool test is intended to determine whether the cat has parasites. A urine test may be conducted if the vet suspects diabetes or other problems with the cat’s kidneys.

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet for Vaccinations?

The recommended cat vaccination schedule can be very complicated. A veterinary hospital can best schedule the vaccinations depending on the age of the cat. Briefly, however, you should expect to vaccinate your kitten as often as every three to four weeks until they reach sixteen weeks of age. After reaching sixteen weeks, booster vaccinations are recommended about every one to three years, depending on the vaccination. The core vaccinations recommended include rabies, feline distemper, feline herpesvirus, and calicivirus.

How to Know if Your Dog is Pregnant

If you think your dog might be pregnant, you might have some mixed emotions on the matter. After all, puppies can cost between $2,000 and $6,600 in their first year. However, you might also be prepared to re-home the puppies and just want to know one way or another if you should be expecting them. Dogs show that they are pregnant in a variety of ways, although not all of these signs are a sure thing. The best way to know is to take your dog to a vet clinic and have them tested. Still, if you have your suspicions and are looking for ways to tell, here are some early dog pregnancy symptoms that you can look for:

1. Changes in Affection

This can go either way depending on the dog and it’s a matter of noticing what is odd for your specific pet. She might suddenly become much more affectionate and want to be closer to you more often. She also might withdraw from you and decide she wants to be alone more often. Just keep an eye out for any unusual switches in her behavior that could be a sign of changes in her body and her hormones.

2. Physical Changes

Physical changes can occur somewhat early on. You might notice your dog’s belly becoming more bloated and their nipples becoming enlarged or even discolored. As far as early dog pregnancy symptoms go, these might happen a little later on and might be one of the last things you notice. This is because hormonal and behavioral changes are more likely to be triggered for your dog’s body starts to change on the outside.

3. Fluctuation in Appetite

Another clue is that your dog’s eating habits are changing in one way or another. Maybe they aren’t finishing their food like they usually do, or maybe they are begging you for food more often when they wouldn’t normally be hungry. Vomiting could occur as well if your dog’s stomach is upset from the pregnancy.

4. Fatigue

Like in people, one of many early dog pregnancy symptoms is fatigue. Growing living beings can be a very taxing thing. If you notice that your dog is sleepier than usual or tires more quickly on walks, they could be pregnant.

Many early dog pregnancy symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other causes as well. They are often subtle enough that they aren’t enough to deny or confirm your dog’s pregnancy on their own. Taking your dog to a veterinary clinic is always the easiest and surest way to know if they are pregnant.

Things You Should Know Before You Get a Dog

Dogs make wonderful companions for so many reasons. They are fun, loyal, sweet, and relatively easy to train if you take the time. However, they can be a lot of work and sometimes people don’t realize what they’re getting into until they’ve already adopted their dog. This is why so many end up in shelters, because the owners weren’t prepared for the trials of being dog parents.

There are some crucial points that every potential dog owner should know before they make the commitment. Going in with this knowledge will better prepare you to be the dog mom or dad that your future pet needs you to be.

1. Regular Vet Care Matters

Taking your dog to the vet clinic every year is an important part of caring for them. This means getting them examined for any potential illnesses or problems, keeping their vaccines up to date, and even staying on top of dental care. Dogs can develop gum diseases just like humans can and gum pain or tooth loss can make eating difficult for them.

You shouldn’t get a dog if you’re not prepared to handle veterinary bills. Not only are regular check-ups and vaccinations important, but as dogs get older they often develop more health issues. Old dog skin problems can cost a ton of money in vet bills and medications. Cancer treatments can cost even more. Even getting your animal put down when there is nothing to be done for them costs money.

2. Exercise is a Must

The idea of a snuggly lap dog is always nice, but even the laziest of dogs need exercise. Not only does it help them unleash excess energy so they can behave better, but it’s wonderful for their health. It keeps them from gaining too much weight, keeps their muscles fit, and is good for their heart and lungs. Sedentary lifestyles are no more healthy for dogs than they are for humans and your dog will need between 30 minutes and two hours of exercise each day depending on their age, weight, and breed.

3. They Don’t Stay Young

Puppies are great and a lot of fun, but they don’t stay puppies. Often times people will allow dogs to perform certain behaviors that are cute when they’re a puppy, but that turn out to be annoying once the dog gets bigger. Things like jumping, nibbling on hands, and stealing bites of food might seem harmless when the dog is small, but it’s best not to encourage them. That way when they grow into their full size, they haven’t been trained to behave in a way that is suddenly irritating.

Also, adult dogs eventually grow into senior dogs. Senior dogs come with old dog skin problems, back problems, eye problems, and more. Their bodies age and wither just as human bodies do. You have to be prepared to face those old dog skin problems and other issues just as you faced every other stage of their life.

4. Dogs Should Be Socialized

People sometimes expect their dogs to just be friendly to other dogs and people. However, if those things are unfamiliar to them it can be frightening and make them uncomfortable. Dogs who are uncomfortable may lash out. It’s their nature as animals. This is why it’s important to socialize them from a young age. That way they won’t be getting into tiffs when you take them to the veterinary clinic or growling at your neighbors.

If you keep this advice in mind and view your pet as a living being who is going to go through different stages of life in a short time, you will be an amazing dog owner.

How Often Should You Take Your Dog to the Vet?

Regular wellness checks at a vet clinic is important to the long-term health of your dog, no matter the age, breed, or size. From birth, dogs should be under the regular care of a qualified and well-respected veterinary clinic or animal hospital. That care should last throughout your dog’s life. But how frequently should your dog visit the vet clinic or veterinary hospital? It’s different for different breeds, and during different stages of your dog’s life.

Wellness checks are the same as regular physical exams for humans: they are opportunities for your veterinarian to check your dog’s health when he or she is well, when unexpected health issues are not the impetus for the visit, and after a period of time has passed since the dog’s last wellness check. During an annual checkup, a vet will observe your dog’s movement, teeth, and respiratory systems. The vet will also ask about the dog’s habits, apparent health, eating, and other things. They will give you an opportunity to approach any concerns about your dog’s health, keep pet vaccinations up to date, and prepare you and your dog for any tests or follow-ups, routine or otherwise. How frequently your dog needs to be seen at a vet clinic for wellness checks will be explained by your veterinarian based on the dog’s activity, breeding, age, and history. Read on for a broad idea of how frequently your dog needs to visit a vet clinic based on his or her age.


Expect your vet to want to see your puppy once per month for the first five months of his or her life. Vaccinations are vital at this age, the dog is in a crucial stage of development, and any health or diet issues will begin to emerge during these first five months. Tests completed on your dog at this stage help to guide the veterinarian toward potential health problems that are common for puppies. Many health issues that can impact adult dogs are predictable with the tests completed while the dog is a puppy as well.


At five or six months, your dog is obviously still a puppy. But many breeds don’t require such frequent visits to the vet clinic after five months, and can start to be seen with the same frequency as adult dogs. Some young dogs should visit the vet twice a year, but in general, your vet will wish to check your adult dog once per year, and those checkups will become more routine: prevention for fleas, ticks, and heartworms; new and updated vaccinations, and general appraisals of your dog’s health can be expected during the annual or twice-yearly vet clinic visits for your adult dog.


Dogs are considered senior at different ages, depending on their size and breed, with larger breeds ready for senior dog care at six years and smaller dogs at eight. How often senior dogs need to be seen for wellness checks will depend more on the health of the dog than its age, size, or breed, but it’s common for older dogs to have to visit vet clinics more frequently than adult dogs, perhaps twice per year or more. Your vet clinic’s input in your dog’s health and diet will be vital at this stage as you work together to anticipate and treat the health issues that can impact older dogs. Although senior dogs, like humans, are more likely to develop health issues, with regular wellness checks and close coordination with a vet, there’s every reason to expect your senior dog to live as happily as he or she did as an adult.

This has been a broad outline of how often your dog should visit the vet clinic at different stages of his or her life. Your very best and most accurate resource for your dog’s wellness care will be your veterinarian. Keeping current with vaccinations, tracking your dog’s diet and eating habits, and remaining vigilant about health and medications are all critical to the long-term health of your dog. But none is more important than regular visits to the vet clinic.