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.