You already take your dog to the vet when they’re sick or injured but those opportunities tend to focus mainly on one particular issue. The Check-up is as maintenance. Its more holistic and gives your vet the chance to detect subtle changes in your dog’s overall physical health.
Ideally, your vet should see your dog at least once a year, and more frequently as they get older or if they have special medical needs. These regular visits play a huge part in the ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach; so don’t hold off making the appointment just because your dog seems fit and healthy to you.
If you use the same vet all the time, and get them their regular vaccination shots, this should help you keep some kind of schedule for regular checks.
Your vet will check your dog, including listening to their heart and a lung, running their hands over their abdomen to check for any unusual signs or lumps. They check for skin/coat, eye and ear problems and scanning their microchip to see if it’s all in working order.
Micro-chipping is it important?
Micro-chipping is important for you and your dog, if they ever get lost or stolen.
Most owners do it when your pet is still a puppy, before you start taking them out for walks. But if you haven’t had your dog micro-chipped yet, it’s never too late. The procedure is virtually pain-free and it will give you peace of mind that if your dog does decide to wander off, they can safely return to you by whoever finds them.
Forget about the ridiculous internet and social media campaigns put out by uninformed people or natural therapy hawkers. Dog vaccinations rarely have any negative side effects and can prevent deadly diseases taking hold.
Your vet will send you a reminder when your dog’s vaccination are due or provide you with a puppy vaccination schedule to help you keep-up-to-date. The timing will depend on which vaccination is needed but could include: distemper, leptospirosis, adenovirus, parvovirus (parv) as well as para-influenza and Bordetella (kennel cough).
Behavior treatment and prevention
Use your dog’s annual assessment as an opportunity to discuss any unusual or unsociable behavior your dog’s displaying like excessive barking, biting and chewing
But please note most vets are highly trained in medicine and operations and giving medication, they are not massively trained in nutrition or dog behaviour – unless its a very recent change and is connected to a medical issue. taking your dog for off lead dog walks keeps their weight better managed and has them learn to be less bored and much more social. You can’t substitute anything for time with your dog, outside, off lead.
Your vet may be able to offer you some useful tips or refer you to a trained dog behaviorist. If your dogs is still a puppy, your vet may be also able to tell you about reputable puppy training classes in the area that you can join.
Weight and Body Condition
Obesity is an all-too common problem in dogs, so take the opportunity to weigh your dog on the vets scales as often as you can, and keep a close eye on your furry friend’s body condition by assessing them at home.
If your dog is overweight, there’s plenty you can do to help. Tell to your vet about a diet and exercise plan or find out if your veterinary practice runs a weight loss scheme. Also if f your dog has lost weight since they were last weighed, discuss this with your vet as it could be a sign of a health problem.