The same way we schedule ourselves annual physicals, health follow-ups, and routine testing, we should also focus on better preventative and medical care for our furry family members. Regular check-ups with your vet can help you learn how to better care for your pet and make lifestyle or diet changes before a health issue arises. Below are some of the most common routine medical care needs for dogs.
No matter the breed, age, or health status of your dog, you should be scheduling a visit with your vet at least once a year. Just like annual check-ups for humans, your vet will do a full examination, ask some standard questions, and do some testing to make sure everything looks good and healthy. These visits can uncover issues you didn’t know were lurking.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in dogs, and for every three dogs, at least one will develop it. Screening for common dog cancers regularly can alert you of cancerous cells during the early stages, when it’s easier and less costly to treat.
We all know good habits lead to better health, but sometimes we need a professional nudge to get on the right path. Vets will pick up on weight gain, behavioral changes, and more to let you know if you should be worried and what you can do to improve it.
Many dogs take medication, such as antihistamines for seasonal allergies, anti-inflammatories for arthritis or lameness, or medicated wipes for reoccurring ear infections. You should always confirm with your vet before starting your dog on any medications and regularly check-in to know if the drugs are effective or need to be adjusted or changed.
Vaccines aren’t just for puppies. Your dog should receive booster shots every 1 to 2 years, depending on how long the previous shot is rated to last. Boosters should always include rabies and DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus). Optional vaccinations include influenza, coronavirus, leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Lyme disease.
Fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm, and other internal and external parasites are all common concerns for dogs. Some parasites can even spread to humans and infect you and your family. Treatments can be usually be applied at home, but you should have your vet perform an annual fecal test and skin exam to make sure the medication has worked and that your dog is not infected.
Save money on office visits
One of the reasons dog owners skip out on vet visits is because it can cost a considerable amount of time and money. However, there are many ways that dog owners can make their visits more affordable. Adding pet insurance to existing insurance policies, opting for discount programs with your vet, and checking of a variety of items at the annual visit (vaccines, check-up, tests, etc.) can all make regular pet care more affordable. Not to mention that providing regular quality care early on is much more affordable than responding to a larger, harder-to-treat problem later on.
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