You love your dog and want to give them their best shot at a long, healthy and happy life. That's where routine preventive veterinary care comes in. Here, our Lebanon vets explain how often you should bring your dog to the vet to set them up for success.
Preventive Care & Early Detection
Preventing serious diseases or diagnosing them in their earliest stages can help your dog stay healthy for longer.
Bringing your dog to the vet on a routine basis can provide your vet with the chance to monitor your pet's overall health and well-being, to find the earliest signs of disease when they are at their most treatable, and give your advice on the best preventive products and treatments for your canine companion.
Our vets understand that you are concerned about the cost of bringing your dog in for a checkup when they seem healthy, but taking a proactive, preventive approach to your dog's care could save you the cost of expensive treatments down the road.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Pets
Bringing your dog in to see your veterinarians for a routine exam is like taking your pup 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.
Annually administered wellness exams are recommended for healthy adult dogs, but for dogs with underlying conditions, seniors and puppies, more frequently-scheduled exams may be more appropriate.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
If your companion is younger than one year old, then monthly visits to your vet are recommended.
During your pup'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, corona, 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 precise timing of your young dog's vaccinations will depend on your location and the overall health and well-being of your canine companion.
Between the age of 6 and 12 months, our vets recommend that you have your dog spayed or neutered in order to prevent a whole host of diseases or undesirable behaviors like unwanted puppies.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 - 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 administer vaccines as they are required, speak with you about your dog's nutritional requirements, advise you about any appropriate parasite protection treatments, and speak with you about any behavioral issues or training problems you have noticed in your pet.
If your veterinarian detects any signs of developing health issues your vet will discuss their findings with you and recommend next steps.
Dogs are generally considered to be geriatric or senior when they are around 8 years old. The exception is giant dogs like Irish Wolfhounds or Great Danes, who age more quickly than other dogs and will require more frequent veterinary care more often starting around the age of 5.
Since many canine diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older dogs we recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly 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 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 care for pets also includes a more proactive approach to keeping your pet as comfortable as possible as they age, especially as age-related conditions become more probable. If you have a senior dog, ask you vert about how often you should bring them in for an exam.
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.