Knowing when to take your dog to the vet can be tricky, especially since it can be hard to know what warrants a vet visit. Outside of the obvious reasons to visit your local vet, such as when your dog is sick or in pain, there are some more surprising and less obvious reasons to visit a local veterinary clinic. Whether you are currently worried about your pooch or just want to be prepared for the future, keep reading to find out 4 of the surprising signs you might need to take your dog to the vet.
1. You have an older dog
Having an older dog means that you will likely need to visit your local veterinary hospital more frequently. According to most vets, checkups twice a year or more are recommended for all older pets. Even if you do not notice any issues, scheduling a visit, or going to a walk-in appointment at your local vet a couple of times a year can help to catch serious issues before they wreak havoc. Older dogs are especially susceptible to certain diseases, so it is better to be safe and have regular exams for your pet than risk their health later on.
2. Your dog is acting differently
A big red flag in terms of when to take your dog to the vet is unusual behavior or habits. Dogs tend to be pretty consistent when it comes to personality, habits, and behaviors. While new behaviors might not always mean something is wrong, pay attention to things that strike you as unusual. For example, if your dog is having trouble sleeping or is sleeping too much, you may want to stop by your local vet to make sure everything is ok. Changes in eating or drinking habits, such as drinking too much or eating too little, can also be an indicator that something isn’t right.
3. Your dog’s hair looks dull
One sign that is often overlooked is the dullness of your dog’s coat or hair. Sudden changes in hair can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Whether you notice more bald patches, a change in texture, or a change in appearance, make sure to schedule an appointment at your local vet if you see anything that is not normal when looking at your dog’s hair. Small changes may not seem like a big deal, but a dog’s coat can tell you a lot about their health, so it is always a good idea to have a check-up when your pet’s hair changes color, texture, appearance, etc.
4. Dental-related checkups
Dental diseases are fairly common in dogs, with about 80% of dogs showing some sign of having a dental disease before they are 3 years old. This means that they may have things like loose teeth, abscesses, and/or chronic pain. Not only can this be very uncomfortable and painful for dogs, but can negatively impact how they eat and live their lives. If you have a dog under or around three years old or suspect your dog may have dental issues, make sure to visit your local vet before the potential problems spiral into a larger issue.
Pet care is an incredibly important part of owning and looking after a dog. When it comes to veterinary services, it is always a good idea to be on the safe side to ensure your pet is healthy and happy. If you own an older dog, notice your dog acting differently, see a change in your dog’s coat, suspect dental problems, or need a normal check-up, try to schedule a visit to your local vet as soon as possible. Remember to be responsible, stay safe, and do your research when you have an issue. Good luck!