You aim to provide your dog with the optimal opportunity for a healthy and extended life. This is where routine preventative veterinary care plays a crucial role. In Somerset, our vets will review the recommended frequency for your dog's visits to the veterinarian.
Preventive Care & Early Detection
Bringing your dog to the vet on a regular basis enables the vet to monitor your pet's general health, detect early signs of disease (when it's easier to treat), and provide advice on preventive products for your four-legged companion.
Vets acknowledge your concerns regarding the expense of check-ups when your dog appears healthy. However, a proactive, preventive approach to your dog's care can potentially reduce the need for costly treatments later on.
Routine Wellness Exams - Check-ups for Pets
Taking your dog to the vet for a routine exam is like taking your dog in for a physical. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, overall health, and age.
Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult dogs, but puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with underlying health conditions benefit from more frequent examinations.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
If you have a dog less than a year old, you should schedule monthly visits to your veterinarian.
During your puppy's first year, they are going to need several rounds of vaccinations to help keep them protected against common infectious diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, rabies, and leptospirosis. These vaccines will be given to your puppy over the course of 16 weeks and will go a long way towards keeping your puppy healthy.
The exact timing of your young dog's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your dog's overall health.
Between 6 and 12 months of age, our veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your dog to prevent various diseases, undesirable behaviors, and the birth of unwanted puppies.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 - 7 years old, yearly routine exams are recommended.
During your adult dog's exam, your vet will perform a head-to-tail examination of your pet to look for early signs of illness or other issues, such as tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.
Your vet will administer any required vaccines. During this time, your vet will speak to you about the following:
- Your dog's diet and nutritional requirements
- Recommended parasite protection
- Any training or behavioral issues you may be noticing
If your veterinarian detects any signs of developing health issues, your vet will discuss their findings with you and recommend further steps to take.
Dogs are typically categorized as senior or geriatric when they reach approximately 8 years of age, except in the case of larger breeds like Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards. These larger breeds tend to age more rapidly than other breeds, necessitating more frequent preventive care, typically commencing around 5 years of age.
We recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every 6 months. Twice a year, wellness check-ups for your senior dog will include all of the checks and advice mentioned above but with a few added diagnostic tests to look for issues that are more likely in older dogs and to provide extra insight into your pet's overall health.
Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
Geriatric pet care also involves a proactive approach to maintaining your pet's comfort as age-related problems like joint pain become more prevalent. If you have a senior dog, consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal frequency for bringing your pet in for an examination.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.