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How Often Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

As a caring dog owner, you aim to ensure your dog receives the necessary care for a long and healthy life. In this blog, our vets in Santa Rosa share how frequently you should take your dog to the vet and emphasize the significance of routine exams.

Prevention & Early Detection

To help your dog live a longer, healthier life, focus on preventing serious diseases or catching them in their earliest stages when treatment is easiest.

Regularly bringing your dog to the vet allows your veterinarian to monitor their overall health, detect diseases early, and recommend preventive products tailored to your pup's needs.

While the costs of vet checkups may concern you, being proactive about your furry friend's health can save you money on more expensive treatments.

Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Dogs

Bringing your dog to the vet for a routine exam resembles taking them for a physical checkup. Similar to people, the frequency of your pet's physical exams depends on their lifestyle, overall health, and age.

Healthy adult dogs typically benefit from annual wellness exams. However, puppies, senior dogs, and those with underlying health conditions require more frequent examinations.

Puppies Up to 12 Months Old

If your pup is younger than a year old, we advise taking them to the vet monthly.

Throughout the first year of your dog's life, they will need several rounds of vaccinations to protect them from common infectious diseases like hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, corona, parvo, leptospirosis, and rabies. These vaccines will be administered to your puppy over 16 weeks, significantly contributing to your puppy's health.

The timing of your young dog's vaccinations will vary based on your location and your furry friend's overall health.

Our vets suggest spaying or neutering your canine companion when they are between 14 and 16 weeks old to prevent various diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted puppies.

Adult Dogs Up To 7 Years of Age

We recommend yearly wellness exams if you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 - 7 years old.

During your adult dog's exam, your vet will thoroughly examine your pet from head to tail to identify early signs of illness or other issues, including tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.

Your vet will also provide any necessary vaccines, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional needs, recommend suitable parasite protection, and address any training or behavioral concerns you may have noticed.

If your veterinarian identifies any signs of emerging health issues, they will discuss their findings with you and suggest the next steps.

Senior Dogs

Dogs typically enter their geriatric or senior phase around the age of 8, except for giant breeds. Breeds like Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age at an accelerated rate, necessitating more frequent preventive care, often starting around 5 years of age.

To address the increased likelihood of injuries and diseases in elderly dogs, we recommend biannual visits to the vet for your senior pup. These wellness checkups will encompass all the abovementioned checks and advice, with additional diagnostic tests to gain further insights into your dog's overall health.

Among the diagnostic tests recommended for senior dogs are urinalysis and blood tests, which can detect early signs of diabetes or kidney disease.

Geriatric care for dogs also involves taking a proactive approach to ensure your pup's comfort as age-related issues like joint pain become more prevalent. If you have a senior dog, consult your vet to determine the optimal frequency for examinations.

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.

Contact our Santa Rosa vets at Montecito Veterinary Center today to schedule your dog's next routine wellness exam.

Caring for Pets in Santa Rosa

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