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How often should you take your dog for a vet checkup?

Routine vet checkups help your furry friend to remain healthy throughout their life. Here, our vets discuss the purpose of annual pet wellness exams and how dog checkups at Westfield Animal Hospital in Westfield help manage the health of your pup.

Why does a dog need routine vet checkups?

Bringing your dog to the vet regularly enables the vet to monitor your pet's general health, detect early signs of disease (when it's easier to treat), and provide advice on preventive products for your four-legged companion.

Vets acknowledge your concerns regarding the expense of check-ups when your dog appears healthy. However, a proactive, preventive approach to your dog's care can potentially reduce the need for costly treatments later on.

How often should you bring your dog in for a wellness exam?

Bringing your dog for a routine wellness exam in Westfield is like taking your dog in for a physical. Many different factors contribute to the frequency that your dog will need to visit the vet for a checkup. This includes their age, overall health and location.

Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult dogs, but puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with underlying health conditions benefit from more frequent examinations. 

Puppies: 0 - 1 Year of Age

If your dog is still under a year of age then you should bring them in for vet checkups once a month.

During your puppy's first year, they are going to need several rounds of vaccinations to help keep them protected against common infectious diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, Bordetella, and leptospirosis. 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 dog's overall health. Once your dog is between six months and a year of age, you may want to consider spaying or neutering your dog. This is important to prevent various diseases, undesirable behaviors and the birth of unwanted puppies.

Adult Dogs: 1 - 7 Years Old

Annual wellness exams are generally recommended for dogs who are between one and seven years of age.

During your pet's annual wellness exam in Westfield, 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.

Your vet will administer any required vaccines. During this time, your vet will speak to you about the following:

  • Your dog's diet and nutritional requirements
  • Recommended parasite protection
  • Any training or behavioral issues you may be noticing

If your veterinarian detects any signs of developing health issues, your vet will discuss their findings with you and recommend further steps to take.

Senior Dogs: 7+ Years Old

Dogs are typically categorized as senior or geriatric when they reach approximately eight years of age, except in the case of larger breeds like Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, mastiffs, and Saint Bernards. These larger breeds tend to age more rapidly than other breeds, necessitating more frequent preventive care, typically commencing around five years of age.

We recommend taking your senior dog to the vet every six months. Twice a year, wellness check-ups for your senior dog will include all of the checks and advice mentioned above but with a few added diagnostic tests to look for issues that are more likely in older dogs and 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 pet care also involves a proactive approach to maintaining your pet's comfort as age-related problems like joint pain become more prevalent. If you have a senior dog, consult your veterinarian to determine the optimal frequency for bringing your pet in for an examination.

What happens if you don't bring your dog to the vet?

We know that keeping your dog healthy is a lot of work, but this is part of your responsibilities as a pet owner.  If you do not bring your dog in for routine checkups you prevent our veterinary team from being able to spot and address potentially serious health issues while they are still easy to manage. 

We know that in some cases, the cost of veterinary care can hold you back. Don't worry, we have options to allow you to bring your dog for the care they need without straining your wallet.

Ask us about financing at Westfield Animal Hospital. financing can help make sudden veterinary bills more manageable, allowing you to focus on being there for your pet. We also offer pet wellness plans to help make the cost of routine visits and care easier to take care of. With wellness plans, the annual cost of all of the care your dog needs is split up into easy monthly payments. Reach out to our team to learn more about these plans and what they include.

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 the vets to schedule a routine exam for your furry friend. We offer dog and cat veterinary checkups at our animal hospital in Westfield.

Welcoming New Patients, Westfield Vet

Now Welcoming New Patients

Looking for a vet in Westfield? Our vets at Westfield Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our friendly and welcoming vets love providing cats, dogs, and exotic pets with high-quality veterinary care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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