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How often should you take a dog to the vet?

Bringing your dog to the vet for regular preventive care can give your beloved pooch a better chance at a long, happy life, In this post, our veterinary team in Dallas offers some insight into how often you should take your dog to the vet.

Preventive Care & Early Detection 

After your pooch has settled into its new home, the first thing you might wonder, is, "How often should I take my dog to the vet?"

When it comes to having illness or disease diagnosed in your dog, earlier detection is always better. At New Hope Animal Hospital, we always aim to prevent potentially serious health issues from developing in the first place, or detect them early so treatment can begin as soon as possible. 

When our veterinarians see your dog for their regular checkup, they can monitor you're pup's overall health, look for early 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 that you may have concerns about the cost of bringing your dog in for a routine exam when they seem healthy. However, taking a proactive approach to your dog's preventive healthcare may save you the cost of expensive treatments in the future. 

Routine Wellness Exams 

Booking your dog's routine exam with a veterinarian is similar to ensuring you see your doctor regularly for a physical. Like you, how often your pet should have a physical depends on several factors, including your dog's age and overall health. 

Vets typically recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult dogs. However, puppies, senior dogs, and those with underlying health issues should come in for more frequent examinations. 

Puppies 0-12 Months Old  

If your canine companion is under one year old, it's recommended to bring them in for a checkup once each month. 

Your puppy will need several rounds of vaccinations to help protect them against common infectious diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, parvo, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and distemper in their first year. Your pup will receive these vaccines over 16 weeks, building their immunity against potentially dangerous diseases. 

The exact timing of your dog's vaccinations will vary depending on your location, and your dog's overall health and lifestyle. 

When your pooch is between the ages of 6 and 12 months, our vets recommend having them spayed or neutered to prevent several illnesses and undesirable behaviors, in addition to unwanted puppies. 

Adult Dogs Up to & Years of Age 

Do you have a healthy, active adult dog that's between one and seven years old? If so, annual wellness exams are recommended. 

During your adult dog's exams, your veterinarian will conduct a head-to-tail examination of your pet to check for early signs of illness or other conditions, such as tooth decay, parasites or joint pain. 

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.

Senior Dogs

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.

Is it time for your dog's routine wellness exam? Contact our Dallas vets today to book an appointment.

New Patients Welcome, New Hope Animal Hospital, Dallas

New Patients Welcome

New Hope Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Dallas companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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