As a loving dog owner, you want to make sure your pooch receives the care they need to live a long and healthy life. In this blog, our Los Angeles vets share how often you should take your dog to the vet and discuss the importance of routine exams.

Prevention & Early Detection

One of the best ways to help your dog live a longer, healthier life is to prevent serious diseases or to catch them in their earliest stages when they are the easiest to treat.

By bringing your dog to the vet regularly you are giving your veterinarian the 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.

Even if your dog seems healthy, our veterinarians understand that the expense of regular checkups can cause anxiety. On the other hand, by being proactive and preventingive with your pet's health, you can avoid future medical expenses.

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 you should take a dog to the vet to have a physical depends upon your dog's lifestyle, overall health, and age.

Dogs in good health should have annual wellness exams, but more frequent exams are beneficial for puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with underlying medical issues.

When should I take my puppy to the vet?

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.

When your dog is 14–16 weeks old, our veterinarians advise having them spayed or neutered to help avoid a number of illnesses, unwanted behaviors, and unwanted puppies.

When should I take my adult dog to the vet?

If you have a healthy, active adult dog between 1 - 7 years old, yearly wellness exams are recommended.

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.

In addition, your veterinarian will give your dog any necessary vaccinations, consult with you regarding nutrition and diet, suggest the best course of action for protecting your dog from parasites, and talk with you about any training concerns or behavioral problems you may be seeing.

If your veterinarian detects any signs of developing health issues your vet will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.

When should I take my senior dog to the vet?

Dogs are generally considered geriatric or 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 earlier, usually around 5 years of age.

We recommend visiting the vet every six months for your senior dog because many canine illnesses and injuries are more common in older dogs. Your senior dog's twice-yearly wellness checkups will include all of the examinations and recommendations mentioned above, plus a few more diagnostic tests to gain more information about your dog's general health.

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.

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 compassionate vets at Rancho Park Veterinary Clinic today to schedule your dog's next routine wellness exam.