You love your dog and what to give them their best chance at a long, healthy and happy life. That is where routine preventive veterinary care comes in. But, when should you plan to bring your dog to the vet? Here, our Lebanon vets explain how often you should take your dog to see the vet
Preventive Care & Early Detection
Preventing serious diseases and detecting them at their very earliest stages can help your dog to stay healthier for longer.
Taking your dog in to see the vet on a routine basis will provide your veterinarians with the chance to monitor the overall health and well-being of your pup, to look for the earliest signs of disease and provide recommendations on what the best preventive products for your four-legged friend are.
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
Taking your dog to the vet 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.
Annual wellness exams are generally recommended for healthy adult dogs. However, senior dogs, dogs with pre-existing health conditions and puppies all generally benefit from exams scheduled more frequently.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
If your canine companion is less than a 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 dog's vaccinations will vary based on your location and the overall health and well-being of your four-legged friend.
Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, our vets recommend having your dog be neutered or spayed in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors in addition to 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 examination, your vet will be able to perform a comprehensive exam of your pet in order to find early signs of illnesses or other issues like joint pain, gum disease 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 vet detects any signs of developing health issues, your vet will speak with you and discuss their findings in addition to recommending the next steps for treatment.
Dogs are typically considered senior or geriatric when they are about 8 years old, except in the case of giant breeds. Dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs and Saint Bernards age more quickly than other breeds and will require more frequent preventive care earlier, typically around 5 years of age.
Since many canine diseases and injuries can become more common and more serious in older dogs, we advise that you bring your senior pet to see your vet every 6 months. Checkups for your senior dog scheduled twice each year will include all of the checks and advice that we have mentioned above in addition to extra diagnostics to gain insight into your companion's 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 comfortable as age-related issues 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.
Many veterinarians strive to make preventive care more affordable for their clients by offering Wellness Plans.
At Cumberland Animal Hospital we offer Wellness Plans for dogs of all sizes to help make your pup's routine annual care easier on your wallet. With our Wellness Plans, we bundle all the preventive services your pet needs to stay healthy including routine exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention and more. And then we give you a monthly payment plan to help you save money and manage your budget.
Ask your vet about a Wellness Plan for your pup.
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.