People tend to be on both sides of the spectrum. On one hand you have those who take their dog to the vet at the first sign of anything being wrong. Then the polar opposite, they are a dog, an animal and they can take care of themselves, figure it out, they do not ever go to the vet. If you are either of these, no problems, just giving examples. You need to do what you believe is best for your dog.
For me, I am some where in between, leaning more towards the, they are animals and can take better care of themselves they we can. They still have that wild instinct and know what they need to feel better. Just like for my our health, I do a lot of research to find what is the best for them. They eat partial raw diets, high quality dog food, I do not clean the house with toxic chemicals, they play outside for fresh air, drink clean water, once a month I give them their heart worm medicine, year round. A strain of mosquito was brought in with the military base that can hatch below freezing so I do chose to give this year round. They both get a lot of exercise. I never think it is enough, Hublet just laughs at me. When your dog is well taken care of, feed good food and exercised, they do not need to visit the vet as often, just like us as humans. I strive to take care of them as naturally as I do myself which meas not needing doctors as often. However, there are times I do take my Boys to the vet. They go every three years for their rabies vaccination and then here and there when nothing we have tried for them works.
Mungo has been fighting a yeast over growth, allergy issue for several years. I have taken him to the vet, but not gotten any where with them. Mungo and I continue to work on healing his body. I have done this through a high quality diet, raw meat, raw bones and some veggies and fruit. Mungo is crazy in the fact he loves to eat his veggies and fruit. I tell people all the time, my two dogs eat better than most people. Those who know them, agree. He some times does really well and other times not so much. We are figuring it out and adjusting where we need to as we go.
Otto is pretty healthy. He did get bit in the leg one day. We were out for a walk and a dog figured out how to open his kennel and came after us. Otto has a nice laceration to his leg. We took him in just to make sure he did not need any stitches. He was fine, look bad, but it healed well. The extreme cases is when I am very willing to go see the vet.
The other part of the equation is finding a great vet. The one I take the Boys to is awesome, they love her and her staff. I know I can ask questions and get a straight answer, not what the main stream industry would tell you you have to do, like with the vaccines. I have had vets freak when I asked questions and was not doing everyone of them. Our current vet, gives the pros, the cons, the good the bad, the ugly and allows you to make the final choice. I feel like I can make a real informed decision about what is best for my dogs, not what you "have" to do or feel like I am a horrible pet parent not giving them vaccines or what ever it is. As a good doc for you, it takes time to find a good vet for your pets. With a good vet, I am more comfortable taking them in or calling because I am not jerked around and the best decision can be made.
The other thing I have recently started giving Mungo and Otto is antioxidant sprouted granules from Nzymes. They seem to be helping Mungo's allergies and Otto in general.
A note on vaccinations. About the only one my two get is the rabies every three years. I have done a lot of reading and research and decided not to give many others to them. When they are healthy, they are far less likely to get sick, just like us. Just like feeding raw, not doing every vaccine is a personal choice we made after doing our homework. These are decisions you have to make, this is ours.
Really at the end of the day, you have to make the choice when is best for your furry family member to go to the vet. These are just my ramblings of when I go and what I do to help make sure we do not have to go often.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.