When You Should (and Don’t Need To) Take Your Dog to the Vet

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Even the best cared-for dogs will need to see the vet. At a minimum, they’ll need to go to get a health check-over and their booster shots. More likely, however, you’ll be going to the vet for a range of reasons from the moment you bring your puppy home. As you get more experience as a dog owner, you’ll learn more about what warrants a vet visit and what doesn’t. For new dog owners that don’t have that instinct just yet, however, here’s a list of what to watch out for: 


When You Need to See the Vet


There are many instances where it’s either outright essential to see the vet, or highly recommended. Here are just a few: 

  • For Regular Check-Ups


Regular check-ups and boosters by a trusted vet like saltwateranimalhospital.com are vital for your dog’s well-being. These appointments include a physical examination to detect any signs of illness or injury and vaccinations to protect your dog from diseases. Keeping up with these appointments is crucial to maintaining your dog’s health and preventing illnesses.

  • When Your Dog Is Exhibiting Worrying Behaviors for More Than a Day


If you observe any sudden or persistent changes in your dog’s behavior, it is recommended that you take them to the vet. For instance, if your dog is not eating, drinking, or going to the bathroom as they normally do, or if they seem unenergetic and unenthusiastic about playing or going for walks, these could indicate a potential health issue. You can wait a day to see if the issue was just something they ate, but if problems persist, you’ll want to take them to a vet. You’ll also want to go if there’s more than one symptom at a time. If they’re lethargic and not eating, for example, that’s more worrying than if they seem otherwise happy and healthy but are just slow on finishing their food. 

  • If Your Dog is Injured


If your dog is injured, seeking veterinary care right away is crucial. Some injuries, like a broken bone or severe bleeding, require immediate medical attention. Other injuries like internal damage or poisoning may not be easy to detect. Taking your dog to the vet is the best way to ensure that they receive the appropriate treatment and care.


When You Don’t Need To Take Your Dog to the Vet


Not every little thing requires a visit to the vet. Many behaviors are normal, or will go away on their own quickly. Diarrhea, for example, is absolutely worrying if your dog also stops eating since this can indicate an illness. If your dog is otherwise fine, try a different type of dog food. Many dogs can’t actually process grain and cereals well, so upgrade your kibble first. Minor cuts that don’t need stitches also don’t need to be seen to by the vet. You can pick up bandages and a disinfectant spray online and easily care for the issue on your own. 

With these examples, you don’t need to go to the vet. You can absolutely see them anyway to get guidance and assurance, but as you grow in confidence as a dog owner, you’ll learn how to handle these minor issues like a champ.