Puppies (birth to six months)

From housebreaking to behavior training, puppies require a lot of work and require a lot of visits to the vet.

Birth to 16 Weeks

Puppies need an exam from the vet when you first get them. This exam, vets will check your puppy’s health and perform a fecal exam to test for parasites. They’ll also make sure your puppy is at a healthy weight and that they’re developing correctly. Until they are 16 weeks old, puppies need to see the vet every 3–4 weeks to get a series of puppy vaccinations. These include vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and more. Heartworm treatments start preferably no later than 8 weeks old, according to the American Heartworm Association. Around 12–16 weeks, puppies will typically get flea- and tick-prevention medication.

Adult Dogs (1 yr to about 7–10 yrs)

Depending on the breed, dogs are considered to be adults from 1 to 10 years old. If they’re healthy, they’ll only need an annual physical exam. They’ll also get any required booster shots, and the vet will order a series of tests, from heartworm to fecal.

Senior Dogs (7+ years)

Vets recommend two checkups per year for senior dogs. That’s because senior dogs are more prone to health problems, and the earlier these problems are detected, the better quality of life your dog will have. In addition to performing exams, the vet will talk to you about any changes in your dog’s behaviors and may mention a special diet for your aging pup.