Because you love your dog you want them to live a long and happy life. Preventive care is the best way you can help your pup achieve this. Today, our Bedford vets explain how often you should be bringing your pup to the vet for routine wellness exams and preventive care.
Preventive Care & Early Detection
The best way to help your pooch achieve long-term good health is to prevent serious diseases or catch them early when they are most treatable.
Bringing your dog to the vet regularly gives your vet the chance to monitor your canine companion's overall health, check for the earliest signs of disease, and provide you with recommendations for preventive care products that will suit your furry friend best.
Our vets realize how the costs of taking your dog to the vet for checkups when they appear to be healthy can be worrying, however, taking the proactive, preventive approach to your pup's care can save you on the costs of more expensive treatments in the future.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Pets
Bringing your pup to the vet for a routine wellness exam is like taking them for a physical checkup. As with people, how often your dog should have a checkup depends on their lifestyle, age, and overall health.
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 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 require 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 exact timing of your young dog's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your furry friend's overall health.
Puppies between 5 - 12 months old should be spayed or neutered in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted puppies. However, the exact recommended time frame for this procedure varies.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
We recommend a wellnesses exam annually for healthy, active adult dogs between the ages of 1 and 7 years old.
At your adult dog's checkup, your vet will conduct a head-to-tail examination of your pooch to check for early signs of illness or other problems that need to be addressed, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your vet will also administer any vaccines or booster shots that are needed, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional requirements, recommend the appropriate parasite protection, as well as and talk to you about any training or behavioral problems that you might be noticing.
If your veterinarian uncovers signs of any arising health problems they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps you should take.
Typically, dogs are considered geriatric or senior when they are approximately 8 years old unless they are a giant breed. Dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age faster than other breeds and will need more frequent preventive care earlier, generally when they are approximately 5 years old.
Because lots of canine diseases and injuries are typically more common in older dogs we suggest taking your senior pup to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your senior dog will consist of all of the checks and advice listed above, but with a few additional diagnostic tests to gain extra insight into your canine friend'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 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.