As a carding dog parent, you want to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy. In this blog post, our team of vets from San Mateo will explain how often you should schedule vet visits for your dog and why regular check-ups matter.
Prevention & Early Detection
One of the best ways to ensure your dogs have a long and healthy life is by preventing serious illnesses or catching them early when they're easier to treat.
By bringing your dog to the vet regularly, you are giving your veterinarian a chance to keep an eye on your dog's overall health, check for the earliest signs of diseases, and provide you with recommendations for the preventive products that will suit your pup best.
We understand vet visits can be concerning, especially when your dog seems perfectly fine. However, taking a proactive approach now can save you from more expensive treatments down the road.
Routine Wellness Exams - Check-ups for Dogs
Bringing your dog to the vet for a routine exam is similar to taking them for a physical check-up. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, overall health, and age.
Generally, healthy adult dogs benefit from annual wellness exams. Puppies, senior dogs, and those with health issues may need more frequent check-ups to stay in tip-top shape.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
For puppies under 1 year old, it's important to visit the vet monthly.
During the first year of your dog's life, they will require several rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases such as hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, corona, parvo, leptospirosis, and rabies. These vaccines will be given to your puppy over 16 weeks and will go a long way towards 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.
Our vets suggest spaying or neutering your puppy between 14-16 weeks to prevent disease and unwanted behaviors.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
Yearly wellness exams are recommended if you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 - 7 years old.
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.
Senior dogs are typically around 8 years old, except for larger breeds. Dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age faster than other breeds and will need more preventive care more frequently earlier, usually around 5 years of age.
Because lots of canine injuries and diseases are typically more common in elderly dogs, we suggest bringing your senior pup to the vet every 6 months. Twice-annual wellness check-ups for your senior dog will consist of all the checks and advice listed above. However, there will be a few added diagnostic tests to obtain additional insights into the overall health of your pup.
The check-ups include various assessments and advice, along with additional diagnostic tests like urinalysis and blood tests to catch early signs of conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.
Geriatric care for dogs also consists of a more proactive approach to keeping your pup comfortable as age-related problems 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.