One of the most important factors in being a smart pet parent is attending regular vet checks with your dog. Keeping dogs up-to-date with vaccinations is essential, and attending regular vet checks also ensures that any potential health issues are identified as early as possible. Whether you have had dogs in your home all your life, or you are about to embark on the journey of becoming a pet parent for the first time, the importance of regular vet checks for your dog is an important responsibility.
For you and your dog, certain key professionals form a support network. Pet care professionals, veterinarians, and vet technicians are highly trained individuals who have dedicated their careers to the health and well being of our pets.
Related: Why Vaccinations Are Essential For Your Dog’s Health
Importantly, vaccinations are required before your dog or puppy can take advantage of doggy day care or overnight boarding. It is not just puppies who need vaccinations. Dogs of all ages require vaccinations to be up-to-date to give them protection against preventable diseases. From distemper to parvovirus, to kennel cough and more, vaccinations not only protect your dog but the wider canine community against deadly diseases.
How regular is regular?
For a healthy young to a middle-aged dog, a once a year check-up at the vets is a good rule of thumb. For older dogs or dogs who have chronic but stable health conditions, a check-up once every six months is likely to be preferable. Your vet or pet care professional will advise you as to how often they want to see your dog for a check-up.
There are five key areas of health and well being that a veterinarian is looking at during a regular check-up.
The first assessment of your pet care professional will make is of your dog’s overall health. They will check the condition of their coat, their eyes, their ears, feet, abdomen. They will also take this time to ask you a few questions about how your dog has been feeling since your last visit.
The thought of parasites may sound daunting, but checking your dog for parasites is essential. Your pet care professional will happily teach you what to look out for and will assess your dog for any unwanted visitors too.
Common parasites in dogs are fleas, ticks, and worms. Prevention is best when it comes to parasites, and giving regular parasite treatments for fleas, ticks and worms is a really important part of pet parenting. These treatments come in all different forms, from flea powders to all-in-one tablets and topical ointments. Your veterinarian can advise as to what is the most appropriate parasite prevention program for your dog.
Just as in humans, dental health and hygiene are essential. We have all heard jokes about dog breath but the fact of the matter is, dog’s breath should not be pungent. Bad breath in dogs can be a sign of dental disease and this needs urgent attention from a vet.
Dental issues are naturally more prevalent in older dogs and to ensure your dog’s teeth stay strong into their twilight years they require regular checkups with your vet.
During a routine check-up, your veterinarian will also discuss and assess your dog’s behavior. Changes in your dog’s behavior can be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs attention. Be sure to take this opportunity to bring any new behaviors to the attention of your vet, they may be able to identify an easy solution that will help improve the well being of your dog.