What To Know About Routine Vet Care For Your Dog


When your dog gets sick or injured, a vet trip is the obvious next step. However, just like humans, dogs require routine examinations to stay healthy and live a longer life. If you have a dog, whether it's a puppy, adult or senior, routine vet trips are a must, so check out these six facts you need to know.

Veterinarians Spot Illnesses Early

Even if your dog seems perfectly healthy to you, it doesn't mean illness isn't on the horizon. A visit with your vet helps prevent illness before it happens, stop it before it gets severe and save you money on serious pet care. During an exam, the vet listens to your dog's heart and lungs, checks in the ears, eyes and mouth, palpitates joins, muscles, abdomen and lymph nodes and tests for parasites or common illnesses. The vet also asks you if you've noticed vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite and any other unusual signs. All this is to prevent and stop illness fast.  

Dental Care Is a Must

Dogs are not immune to tooth decay and other serious dental problems, especially if you feed your dog human food. In fact, dental disease is the most common disease in pets, and between 70 and 85 percent of pets over 2 years old have some form. During a routine exam, your vet looks at your pet's mouth, but cleanings are also required to remove plaque and examine teeth more closely. In calm dogs who only need cleanings, awake cleanings are performed without anesthesia, and they are less expensive. Cleanings with anesthesia are required for closer inspections, x-rays and extractions.

Vaccinations Prevent Death and The Spread of Disease

Getting your dog vaccinated isn't just for show or so you can renew your dog's license. Vaccinations protect your dog against serious life-threatening diseases. As a puppy, your dog should receive the core vaccines, which include canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies. The parvovirus, in particular, is extremely contagious, fast acting and lethal. Some vaccinations must continue to be given throughout the dog's life, such as rabies, bordatella and DHPP. Many of these diseases are highly contagious to other pets, and even humans.

Older Dogs Need More Routine Examinations

If you your dog is under ten years old and healthy, one annual visit a year is enough to keep your pup vaccinated and healthy. Senior dogs, however, should see the vet at least every six months. Older dogs are more prone to serious problems, including arthritis, cancer, prostate disease, dental disease, diabetes, kidney disease and prostate disease. At this stage in your dog's life, additional routine tests are performed, such as blood pressure, complete blood count, urinalysis and thyroid function test. Keep in mind that bigger dogs become seniors sooner than smaller dogs.

Alternative Medicine Is an Option

Acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic care are available for dogs. As with humans, these treatments can go a long way in helping many conditions without the negative side effects of surgery or medications. Some veterinarians have specific training to perform some or all of these alternative treatments, and some alternative providers cater to humans and dogs. Just make sure you find someone who has experience and training specifically in alternative medicine for dogs, and speak with your vet before staring alternative medicine or stopping traditional medicine treatment.

Pet Insurance Is Available

All those routine visits become expensive, but pet insurance is available. While some plans only cover emergency care, there are some plans that cover the costs of preventative care and wellness exams. A few examples of what some plans cover include physical exams, flea prevention, vaccinations, urinalysis and dental cleanings. If your pet undergoes expensive routine pet care, such as dental cleanings, pet insurance is a great option to consider.

Don't just take your dog to the vet when something goes wrong. Routine visits are absolutely necessary to keep your pet happy, healthy and living longer. For more information about how a vet can help your dog, contact a local veterinarian today at a clinic like 1st Pet Veterinary Centers - Chandler.


3 April 2015

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