One of the most important things that you can do to help your pet live a long and healthy life is by ensuring they receive routine preventive care. Our Perry vets discuss routine preventive care exams and how often you should take your dog to the vet.
The Importance of Preventive Care
The best way to help your canine companion live a long and healthy life is by ensuring that they receive ongoing routine preventive care.
By providing your dog with ongoing veterinary care you are allowing your vet the opportunity to monitor your dog for any possible issues and to look for the earliest signs of disease, as well as suggest the preventive products that are most suitable for your dog's unique needs.
While the cost of routine care may seem unnecessary if you have a healthy pup, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your dog's health through routine care will be cost-effective as you avoid potential larger issues down the road.
Routine Preventive Care Exams
A dog's routine exam is the animal equivalent of a physical exam for humans. Your vet will suggest what is needed for your dog's routine care including how often they should have routine exams.
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.
Preventive Care For Puppies
For all puppies, it is generally recommended that routine exams happen once a month until they are about a year old.
Over the course of this first year, your puppy will need to receive the necessary vaccinations in order 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.
Your vet will be able to suggest the vaccination schedule that is best suited to your puppy and their lifestyle.
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.
Preventive Care For Adult Dogs
For any dogs between the ages of 1 and 7 years old your vet will most likely recommend routine exams at least once a year.
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.
If your dog is due for any vaccine booster shots they will be administered during this time, 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.
Senior Dogs and Routine Preventive Care
Small to medium-sized dogs will be considered senior once they have passed the age of 7. For very large dogs they will reach the geriatric stage once they are 5 years old as the larger breeds do not typically live as long.
As your dog may begin to have accidents and injuries more frequently as they get older they should receive routine exams every 6 months or so. 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.
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.
Wellness Plans For Ongoing Preventive Care
Many veterinarians strive to make preventive care more affordable for their clients by offering Wellness Plans.
At Perry 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.