You love your dog and want to make sure they have the best chance to have a long and healthy life, which includes routine veterinary care. Our Dallas vets are here to discuss how often you should bring your dog to the vet.
How Often Should Your Dog See The Vet?
While it may seem like a simple answer, there are a number of factors that can change how often your dog should go to the vet. Thes include factors such as age and health concerns, and our Dallas vets are her to tell you how you can determine how often you should book an exam for your dog.
Preventive Care & Early Detection
Preventing serious diseases, or detecting them in the very earliest stages can help your pooch to stay healthier longer.
Taking your dog to the vet on a regular basis provides your vet with the opportunity to monitor your pet's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease (when conditions are most easily treated), and offer recommendations on the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.
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 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 dog is younger than one year of age, we recommend frequent visits to the vet. When you first bring them home, at about 8 weeks of age, monthly visits will be needed to ensure they are healthy and to provide them with puppy vaccinations and booster shots. Monthly visits are still recommended after booster shots are complete, but as your puppy gets close to one year of age, these appointments can start to get farther apart. Talk to your vet about the right schedule for your pet.
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 toward 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.
Between 6 - 12 months our vets recommend having your pooch spayed or neutered in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted puppies.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
If your dog is between the age of 1 and 7 and is healthy, yearly wellness checkups should be enough to keep your dog healthy.
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 next steps.
At about 8 years of age, your dog will be considered senior. This holds true for most breeds with the exception of giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs and Saint Bernards. These dog breeds age more quickly than small to large-breed dogs and will require more frequent preventive care earlier. This can be as early as 5 years of age.
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.
Once your dog reaches senior age, diagnostic testing will become a bigger part of their routine checkups. This can 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 North Tollway Pet 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.
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.