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How Often Do You Take a Dog to the Vet?

Today, our veterinarians in Richmond discuss how often your dog should have preventive care to ensure a long and happy life.

When Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

When it comes to diseases, early detection is key. Preventing serious conditions from developing or catching them early for prompt treatment is crucial for your pet's health and well-being.

Regular veterinary check-ups for your dog allow for monitoring of overall health, early disease detection, and recommendations for preventive care products.

We understand your concerns about the costs, but being proactive about your dog's preventive care could save you from expensive treatments in the future."

Routine Wellness Exams

It's important to take your dog to the vet for routine exams, similar to humans getting physicals. The frequency of these exams depends on factors such as your dog's overall health and age.

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

Puppies 0-12 Months Old

If your puppy is younger than one year, it's recommended to take them to the vet monthly.

During your puppy's first year, several rounds of vaccinations are necessary to protect against common infectious diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvo, rabies, and leptospirosis.

Your puppy will receive these vaccines over 16 weeks, increasing their protection against potentially dangerous diseases.

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

Between 6 and 12 months, our vets recommend spaying or neutering to prevent diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted puppies.

Adult Dogs Up to 7 Years of Age

If you have a healthy, active adult dog aged between one and seven years, it is recommended that you schedule annual wellness exams.

During your dog's exam, the vet will conduct a thorough examination from head to tail to check for early signs of illness or other issues, such as tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.

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

If the vet detects any signs of developing health issues, they will discuss their findings with you and suggest the next steps.

Senior Dogs

Most dogs are considered senior or geriatric after reaching about 8 years old. However, giant breeds such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards should be considered senior after the age of 5 and will require more frequent preventive care.

Since many canine diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older dogs, we recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your senior dog will include all the elements of a regular wellness check but with a few additional diagnostic tests to provide extra insight into your pet's overall health.

Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.

Geriatric care for pets also requires a proactive approach to keeping them comfortable as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior dog, ask your vet how often you should bring it 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.

Is it time for your dog's routine wellness exam? Contact our Richmond vets to book an appointment. 

Looking for a new vet? We are accepting new patients! 

Book Online (804) 353-4491