A devoted dog owner will want to do whatever they can to ensure their pup's consistent health and comfort. In this blog, our Blountville vets share how often you should be taking your dog to the vet so they can live a long and fulfilling life.
Prevention & Early Detection
The best way to protect your dog's health is to catch any potentially threatening conditions early on. The way to do this is to bring your dog into the vet regularly to keep an eye on their overall health, detect early signs of disease, and provide recommendations on how to improve aspects of your dog's life.
Our vets understand that the cost of appointments is a concern for some owners. However, taking a proactive and preventive approach to your pup's health can save you more on the fees of costly treatments in the future.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Dogs
Bringing your dog to the vet for a routine exam is similar to taking them for a physical checkup. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, overall health, and age.
However, the frequency of wellness exams might look a bit different depending on your dog's age.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
We recommend bringing your puppy under a year old to the vet once a month.
Your dog goes through several rounds of required vaccinations in their first year of life. It is beneficial for your vet to be able to monitor their health and receptiveness to these vaccines over that time. The exact timing of your young dog's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your furry friend's overall health.
Our vets also recommend having your pooch spayed or neutered when they are 14 to 16 weeks old to help prevent a variety of diseases and undesirable behaviors.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 to 7 years old, yearly wellness 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 also administer any required vaccines, speak to you about your dog's diet and nutritional requirements, recommend appropriate parasite protection, and discuss 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 the next steps.
Most dogs are considered senior at 8 to 10 years of age. However, larger dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernhards age faster than other breeds and will need more preventive care more frequently around 5 years old.
Because lots of canine injuries and diseases are typically more common in elderly dogs we suggest bringing your senior pooch to the vet every 6 months. Twice-annual wellness checkups for your senior dog will consist of all the checks and advice listed above, although there will be a few added diagnostic tests to obtain additional insights into the overall health of your pooch.
A couple of diagnostic tests we recommend for senior dogs can include urinalysis and blood tests to check for early signs of issues such as diabetes or kidney disease.
Geriatric care for dogs also consists of a more proactive approach to keeping your pooch comfortable as age-related problems such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior dog, ask your vet how often you should bring 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.