To Kee your dog healthy requires regular checkups. How often should your dog get a checkup?
In general, every dog should be checked out at least once a year. You can think of it as routine dog maintenance. You can use these “wellness exams” to track your dog’s development and take advantage of any concerns you might have. A key component of preventative health care is an annual exam. You can think of preventative care as a term for all the things you need to do to take care of your dog: good nutrition, regular exercise, and regular veterinary care. You can make informed choices that benefit your dog’s health by taking them for routine wellness exams. The early detection of illnesses and issues also allows you to be successful in treating them.
Wheeler says that you might see your buddy’s vet monthly for the first half of his life during the first year of his life. This is mainly due to vaccinations. During its first 6-8 weeks of life, your dog begins to exhibit these signs. American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends starting with vaccines for distemper and parvovirus. You need to get your puppy the DHPP shot when he or she is 10–12 weeks old (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus). AKC recommends that the second DHPP shot be given six weeks after the first rabies shot. Your veterinarian will examine your dog during these visits and will offer you flea and tick preventions along with an examination for heartworms. Wheeler says that your puppy will be ready for spaying or neutering when he is 6–9 months old.
Veterinarians recommend yearly exams at this stage. The veterinarian will examine your pet from head to tail. During the heartworm test, your dog will also have a blood sample taken. Other tests may be recommended if the vet observes any unusual symptoms or problems with your pet.
In addition to the first annual checkup, booster shots of distemper, parvo, and rabies are administered every three years after that. How often animals get rabies boosters depends on state law.
Some diseases like kennel cough may require additional vaccinations for dogs, and outdoor cats should receive feline leukemia vaccines.
Bringing your pet’s stool to your vet for checking for intestinal parasites is helpful.
In a healthy dog, you will probably see your vet once a year around the age of 8. As dogs age, their teeth wear down, so your veterinarian will continue monitoring them. Your veterinarian will also perform more blood work and possibly switch your dog’s food to one with fewer calories. Since your dog has seen a vet for years, you should be able to ease his struggle with end-of-life care. Despite the costs associated with preventative vet care, Wheeler says that your pet will likely live longer, avoiding bigger procedures or illnesses, if it stays healthy. Wheeler says that while it may be tempting to take your dog to specialist clinics that only offer vaccines or spaying and neutering, he will not get the care he needs.
It’s important to remember that you are the best judge of your dog. Be confident! Whenever your dog’s behavior changes suddenly, take him to the vet. Keep in touch with your veterinarian as often as necessary. Their goal is to help, and they’re medical professionals.