Regular preventive veterinary care can give your beloved dog a better chance at a long and happy life. With this in mind, you might wonder how often to take your pet to the veterinarian. Our Laguna Woods vets weigh in below ...
Preventive Care & Early Detection
When it comes to diseases, earlier is always better. Prevention of potentially serious conditions from developing in the first place, or detecting them early to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Taking your dog to the vet on a regular basis allows them to monitor your pet's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease (when conditions are easiest to treat), and offer recommendations on the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.
Our vets understand your concerns about the cost of bringing your dog in for a checkup when they seem healthy, but taking a proactive approach to your dog's preventive care could save you the cost of expensive treatments down the road.
Routine Wellness Exams
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 on several factors including your dog's 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 0-12 Months Old
If your canine companion is less than a year old, it is recommended to take them to the vet once a month.
During your pup's first year of life, they're going to need several rounds of vaccinations to help protect them against common infectious diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, rabies, and leptospirosis. Your puppy will receive these vaccines over the course of 16 weeks, increasing their protection against potentially dangerous
The exact timing of your young dog's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your dog's overall health.
Between 6-12 months our vets recommend having your pooch spayed or neutered in order to prevent a number of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted puppies.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1-7 years old, annual 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, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional requirements with you, 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, they will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.
Most dogs are typically considered senior or geriatric after the age of about 8 years old. In the case of giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards, they should be considered senior after the age of 5 and will require more frequent preventive care.
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 elements of a regular wellness check, 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 requires being more proactive in your 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.
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.