As a loving dog owner, you want to make sure your pooch receives the care they need to live a long and healthy life. But when, and how often, should you take your dog to the vet? In this blog, our Scottsdale vets share how often you should take your dog to the vet and discuss the importance of routine exams.
Prevention & Early Detection
To ensure your dog's longevity and well-being, it is crucial to proactively prevent or detect serious diseases at their earliest stages for optimal treatment.
Regularly taking your dog to the vet allows your veterinarian to monitor your dog's overall health, detect early signs of diseases, and offer recommendations for the most suitable preventive products for your pup.
We understand that the expenses associated with regular vet visits for your dog can be a source of concern, especially when your dog seems to be in good health. By being proactive and taking preventive measures for your furry friend's health, you can avoid the expenses associated with more expensive treatments down the line.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Dogs
Bringing your dog to the vet for a routine exam is similar to taking them for a physical checkup. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, 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 Up to 12 Months Old
If your pup is younger than a year old we recommend taking them to the vet monthly.
During the first year of your dog's life, they are going to 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 veterinarians strongly advise spaying or neutering your dog at 14-16 weeks old. This helps prevent diseases, unwanted behaviors, and the birth of unwanted puppies.
Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age
Yearly wellness exams are recommended for healthy adult dogs between 1 - 7 years old who lead an active lifestyle.
During your adult dog's exam, the vet will thoroughly examine your pet from head to tail to detect any early signs of illness or other issues, including tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.
The vet will administer any necessary vaccines, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional needs, suggest suitable parasite protection, and address any training or behavioral concerns you may have.
If any signs of developing health issues are detected by your veterinarian, they will discuss their findings with you and provide recommendations for the next steps.
Most dogs are considered geriatric or senior around the age of 8, with the exception of giant breeds. Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards tend to age faster than other breeds. As a result, they require more frequent preventive care at an earlier stage, typically around 5 years old.
We recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every 6 months, as many injuries and diseases are more prevalent in older dogs. Your senior dog's twice-annual wellness checkups will include all the checks and advice mentioned earlier, along with some additional diagnostic tests to gain more insights into your pooch's overall health.
We highly recommend a couple of diagnostic tests for senior dogs, such as urinalysis and blood tests. These tests can help identify early signs of issues like diabetes or kidney disease.
When it comes to caring for older dogs, it's important to take a proactive approach in ensuring their comfort, especially as they start experiencing age-related issues like joint pain. Consult your vet about the frequency of examinations for your senior dog.
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.