Taking your dog to the vet once a year for a check-up is the best way of making sure he’s in the best possible health.
Even if you keep a close eye on your dog’s health, an annual visit to the vet for a thorough check-up ensures extra peace of mind.
Apart from helping identify any newly emerging problems before they become serious, regular health assessments will give you the chance to keep your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date, and to find out more about any issues that may be worrying you.
'Well dog' visits are critical for detecting subtle changes in your pet's physical health. Ideally, dogs should be seen at least once every year, or more frequently if they are elderly or have special medical needs.
Regular visits to the vet play a huge part in the whole ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach, so don’t just wait until it’s obvious your dog needs medical attention.
A regular visit to your local vet is the perfect opportunity to make sure your dog's vaccinations are up-to-date. Annual vaccinations should include distemper, leptospirosis, and parvovirus.
Also, ask your vet for current recommendations about vaccines against bordetella ('kennel cough'), which may be important if you plan to travel with your dog or put him in a boarding kennel.
Take the opportunity at your dog’s annual assessment to discuss unusual behaviour. Whether that takes the form of excessive barking, biting or destroying shoes in your absence, misbehaviour can usually be controlled if caught in the early stages.
Fleas, ticks and worms
Another subject you should discuss with your vet is the control of fleas, worms and ticks. Remember that fleas, or at least their larvae, can live year-round in your home and garden. Vets can also provide help in identifying parasitic worms and advising on the best course of action to eliminate them.
Your vet will also have a good look at your dog’s teeth to determine whether or not dental cleaning is required and, if so, when. This is also a good time to evaluate your at-home dental care program with your vet.
If your dog is getting older, you can talk about any special needs with your vet. Just like people, senior dogs may suffer from various organ system problems, osteoarthritis, hair loss loss of vision or hearing, and even memory loss or dementia. Luckily, many problems can be successfully controlled with medication or simple changes to their lifestyle.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.