You're a doting dog owner who wants to make sure your pooch gets the veterinary care they need to live a healthy, long, and happy life. In this post, our Astoria vets discuss the importance of routine exams and how often to take your dog to the vet.
Prevention & Early Detection
The adage, 'Prevention is the best form of treatment' certainly applies to veterinary medicine. Preventing serious diseases, or discovering them in their earliest stages when they are easiest to treat, are two of the most scientifically proven ways you can help your pet live a longer, healthier life.
By taking your dog to the vet regularly, you are allowing your veterinarian the opportunity to keep an eye on your dog's overall health, look for the earliest signs of diseases, and offer recommendations for appropriate preventive products for your four-legged friend.
Our vets understand how the cost of regular veterinary care may be concerning, especially when your pup appears healthy. However, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your canine companion's health can save you money on costly medical treatment in the future for a disease or health condition that's gone undetected.
Routine Wellness Exams - Dog Checkups
Bringing your dog to the vet for a wellness exam or routine health checkup is similar to going to your doctor for a physical checkup. How often your pet should have a physical depends on their overall health, age, and lifestyle.
Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult dogs. However, puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with underlying health issues benefit from more frequent examinations - perhaps twice a year or more.
Puppies Up to 12 Months Old
Is your pup younger than a year old? If so, we recommend taking them to the vet once a month.
During your dog's first year, they'll need several rounds of vaccinations to prevent common infectious diseases such as parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis, rabies, distemper, and hepatitis. These vaccines will be given to your puppy over a 16-week period and will go a long way toward keeping them healthy. The precise timing of your puppy's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your canine companion's general health.
Our vets recommend having your furry friend spayed or neutered when they are between 14 and 16 weeks old to help prevent various diseases and undesirable behaviors such as humping, aggression and roaming, as well as unwanted puppies.
If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 and 7 years old, we recommend yearly wellness exams. During your adult dog's checkup, your vet will perform a head-to-tail examination 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, they will discuss their findings with you and recommend which actions you should take.
Dogs are generally considered senior when they are roughly 8 years old, except for giant 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, 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 pooch to the vet every 6 months. Twice-annual wellness checkups for your senior dog will consist of all the checks and advice listed above, although there will be a few added diagnostic tests to gain additional insight into the overall health of your pooch.
A couple of diagnostic tests we recommend for senior dogs can include urinalysis and blood tests to check for early signs of issues such as diabetes or kidney disease.
Geriatric care for dogs also consists of a more proactive approach to keeping your pooch 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.
Pet Checkups at Steinway Court Veterinarian
If you're looking to book a pet wellness exam in Astoria, consider our animal hospital.
Our comprehensive set of medical services is backed by a commitment to advanced care in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. From cat and dog checkups to dental care and surgeries, we offer the services you and your pet need.
We look forward to welcoming you and your four-legged friend, and to developing an individual health plan to give your pet the best chance at enjoying as many years as possible.
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.