As a loving dog owner, you want to make sure your pet receives the care they need to live a long and healthy life. In this blog, our Powder Springs vets share how often you should be taking your dog to the vet and discuss the importance of routine exams.
Prevention & Early Detection
One effective way to ensure your dog has a longer and healthier life is to prevent serious diseases or detect them early when treatment is easier.
Regular vet visits allow your veterinarian to monitor your dog's health, identify early disease signs, and offer recommendations for suitable preventive products. We understand that the expenses of checkups may concern you, especially when your dog seems healthy.
However, taking proactive and preventive measures for your furry companion's health can ultimately save you from costly treatments down the line.
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.
It is generally advised to schedule yearly checkups for healthy adult dogs. However, puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with pre-existing health issues benefit from more frequent examinations.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
For puppies under one year old, it is advisable to visit the vet on a monthly basis.
During the first year, your puppy will need multiple rounds of vaccinations to protect them from common infectious diseases like hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, corona, parvo, leptospirosis, and rabies. These vaccinations are typically administered over a span of 16 weeks and play a crucial role in maintaining your puppy's health.
The specific timing of vaccinations may vary based on your location and your puppy's overall health.
To prevent various diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted litters, our vets recommend having your dog spayed or neutered between 14-16 weeks of age.
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 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.
Dogs are typically considered seniors when they reach around 8 years of age, except for large breeds like Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards. These breeds age faster and require more frequent preventive care starting around 5 years of age.
Since elderly dogs are more prone to injuries and diseases, we recommend bringing your senior dog to the vet every 6 months. These biannual wellness checkups include the same checks and advice mentioned earlier, along with additional diagnostic tests to gain further insights into your dog's overall health.
Some diagnostic tests we suggest for senior dogs are urinalysis and blood tests to detect early signs of conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.
Geriatric care for dogs also involves a proactive approach to ensure your dog's comfort as age-related issues, such as joint pain, become more common. If you have a senior dog, it's best to consult with your vet to determine the appropriate frequency for their examinations.
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.