Around 70% of households in the United States have at least one pet. The most common pets are dogs and cats. If you have a pet, you may be wondering how often you should get a vet checkup.
Checkups are important for people and pets. Going without checkups for long periods could be a problem for your pet’s health. But what is so important about vet checkups?
Are they necessary? How much do vet checkups cost? Keep reading and learn more about how it works below.
Why Are Vet Checkups Important?
The main benefit of a vet checkup is that it can act as preventative medicine. Pets can suffer from a variety of illnesses like humans. This is especially true as they get older.
They may develop heart problems, arthritis, pain, and so on. Some may develop cancer, tumors, and other serious problems. But you won’t know what problems your pet has if you never take them to the vet.
Your pet might look fine on the outside. They might act fine too. But your pet might be suffering from a serious condition that will get worse with time.
This might shorten your pet’s lifespan. It could also lessen your pet’s quality of life. This is not something that anyone wants to put their pet through.
But how can vet checkups help? Checkups are ideal for giving your pet a lookover. The vet can do tests to see if your pet’s health is up to par.
It might seem like a waste of money to bring your pet to the vet if they seem healthy, but they may not be as healthy as they seem. There are many tests that vets can do to test different aspects of your pet’s health.
They may monitor your pet’s heartbeat, temperature, mobility, teeth, and so on. All of these will give greater insight into the pet’s overall health. If something is amiss, the vet will explain the problem to you.
Checkups are great for catching illnesses in their very early stages. This can prevent illnesses or diseases from getting any worse. It is easy to prescribe your pet some medication or other treatments to keep them in good shape.
The vet may treat certain things right there in the clinic. Your vet can also give you some advice on how to prioritize your pet’s health. This is important as your pet gets older.
It will be harder to keep your pet healthy and agile as they age. Pets naturally get stiffer and suffer from more problems later on. But your vet can give you recommendations on diet and lifestyle.
This can help keep your pet healthy and comfortable as they get older. This may also reduce the risk of developing certain diseases that might make your pet’s life more uncomfortable. You won’t get this kind of insight if you rarely or never go to the vet.
But how often should take your pet to regular vet checkups?
How Often Should You Take Your Pet to a Vet Checkup?
There is no exact answer to this question. It will depend on the health and age of your pet. Suppose your pet is still very young and less than 12 months old.
Your pet would still be in the process of growing and developing into an adult. It is important to be very observant of your pet’s health during this time. This is because many things can go wrong during the younger stages of a pet’s life.
Most vets recommend that you bring young pets in for a checkup once a month. This may seem too often, especially if your pet seems healthy. But these checkups are important for getting your pet all the necessary vaccinations.
These vaccinations will ensure that your pet doesn’t fall victim to any one of many dangerous diseases. Some of the vaccines protect your pet against hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, and rabies. Kittens may need vaccinations against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) and Feline Calicivirus (FCV).
These are very dangerous diseases that could kill a young cat. Most vets recommend that puppies and kittens should be spayed or neutered during this period too. This will ensure that your pet doesn’t produce numerous offspring.
It can also protect against various diseases too. But how often should you take your pet to the vet if they are older than 12 months? Pets between the ages of one year and 7 years are considered adults.
Most adult pets need to go in for vet checkups about once a year. Most pets are in good health during this period of their lives. Annual checkups are ideal for ensuring that your pet’s health stays in good shape.
What You Need to Know
If anything is wrong with your pet, your vet can recommend things you can do to fix the problem. This may be as simple as changing your pet’s diet or giving them more exercise. The vet will keep a close eye out for signs of parasites, dental disease, rashes, and so on.
The vet will also check to see if your pet is in any pain. Your vet may provide you with medications to give to your pet to prevent parasites and other problems. Your vet will point out any serious problems your pet has.
This makes it easier to treat the problem. Your vet can also detect if your pet has behavioral or training issues. Suppose your pet is often aggressive or irritated.
Your vet can find out why this may be. The vet can then recommend what kind of training you can try to fix the problem. It is important to fix behavioral problems because excess stress is not good for your pet’s health.
Behavioral problems are more common in pets that have had a bad upbringing with a previous owner. Senior pets should go to the vet more often. Pets are considered seniors when they reach 8 years of age.
Some pets age faster than others. Very large dogs like Great Danes and Mastiffs are considered elderly at age 5. Cats age much slower than dogs.
They are considered elderly when they are 11. Senior pets are more likely to develop different diseases and disorders. This is because their bodies will start showing signs of wear and tear.
Senior pets are also more likely to get injured. They may hurt themselves doing simple tasks like stepping down a flight of stairs.
Taking Care of Your Senior Pet
It is recommended that you take your senior pet to the vet twice a year or every 6 months.
These checkups will be the same as any ordinary checkup. But your vet may also incorporate some extra tests and examinations to prioritize your senior pet’s health. Blood tests and urine tests are important for senior pets.
This is because senior pets may develop kidney or liver problems. These tests can catch these problems early. This makes them easier to treat.
The vet can also help if your pet is suffering from arthritis or joint pain. This issue becomes more common in pets as they get older. The vet can prescribe certain medications and other treatments to help keep your pet comfortable and mobile.
Certain senior pets may need to get checkups more than twice a year. This is especially true if your pet has a serious health condition. Ask your vet how many checkups per year would be best for your pet.
But how long do vet checkups take? Most vet checkups are very fast. They might take around 15 or 30 minutes.
This gives the vet plenty of time to examine your pet and see if there is anything amiss. The appointment may take longer if your pet is suffering from a condition. The vet will then need to talk to you about various treatment options and how to improve your pet’s health.
But moist vet appointments don’t take very long. This ensures that they won’t take up too much time in your busy schedule.
How Much Does a Vet Checkup Cost?
Many people are wary of going to get vet checkups too often because of the cost. No one wants to spend money if they don’t have to. This is why many people don’t bother to bring their pets to the vet if they seem healthy.
But this is not a good idea. Your pet might look healthy, but it might not be. Your pet might have parasites, joint pain, or other health problems.
The cost of treating these health problems will be more expensive than the cost of the vet checkup. Some medical procedures may cost thousands of dollars. Vet checkups are a fraction of that price.
The exact cost of the checkup will depend on a variety of things. It will depend on your location, your pet, the vet you choose, and so on. Suppose you take your pet for a routine vet checkup.
This checkup can be as cheap as $50. It may also be as expensive as $250. This variation in cost often depends on your location.
Vets in large cities like New York City or Los Angeles charge more. Vets in rural areas will cost a fraction of the price. Most routine vet checkups are not that expensive.
But this price range will change if there are any additional treatments thrown in. Suppose you want to get your pet spayed or neutered while you’re there. This cost will be based on the age, breed, and weight of your pet.
You may need to get vaccines for your pet every year. Vaccines are cheap and they should cost around $20 to $30. Your pet may need professional dental cleaning if its dental health is not in good shape.
What to Know
Keeping your pet’s teeth clean is important because bad dental health is bad for the heart. Professional pet dental cleaning may be as cheap as $300 or as expensive as $1000.
There are many other tests that your pet may need such as heartworm screening, fecal tests, allergy tests, and so on.
Most of these tests are more than a hundred dollars each. But there may be more unexpected costs on top of those. Suppose that your pet has a disease that you didn’t know about.
Or your pet has a serious injury that requires surgery. This treatment may include bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasounds, and overnight hospitalizations. All of this can cost a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Some vets offer a free vet checkup. These checkups may be complimentary if you purchase something or opt for a certain service. But many vets do not do this.
You can save money with pet insurance. This can help you stop worrying about your pet’s medical costs. The size of your pet will also impact the cost of a vet checkup.
Larger pets will be more expensive to care for. These include large dogs like Great Danes but also horses and other animals. Older pets can be more expensive to care for since they may have age related health issues.
Taking Your Pet to a Vet Checkup
Taking your pet to a vet checkup is an important thing to do. Most adult pets need to go about once a year. Older pets may need to go twice a year.
Pets under 12 months should go once a month until they are one year old. To learn more about vet services, check out our options.