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How Often Should I Take my Dog to the Vet?

How Often Should I Take my Dog to the Vet?

Preventive care is a vital part of your pup's overall health care. It can help to ensure their health for life. Here, our Oceanside vets talk about how often you should take your dog to the vet and what to expect during these visits.

The Importance of Preventive Care

Preventive care helps to detect the earliest possible signs of potential health issues.

Taking your dog to the vet on a regular basis allows your vet to monitor your pet's overall health, look for early signs of disease (when conditions are most easily treated), and recommend the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.

It may be difficult to think of bringing your dog in for a checkup when they are perfectly healthy but in the event that your vet sees anything of concern, you will save yourself financially and your dog from pain, down the road.

Wellness Exams For Ongoing Health

A dog's wellness exam is essentially a physical checkup. The frequency of these checkups will depend on a number of factors.

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. 


For any puppy under the age of one, our vets recommend bringing them in monthly for checkups.

During your pup'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, parvo, corona, rabies, and leptospirosis. These vaccines will be given to your puppy over the course of 16 weeks and will go a long way towards keeping your puppy healthy.

Your puppy's vaccination schedule will depend on a number of factors including their age and lifestyle. Speak with your vet to learn more about what your puppy needs.

Between six months and one year, our vets recommend having your pooch spayed or neutered in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted puppies.

Adult Dogs

If you have a healthy, active adult dog between one and seven years old, you will want to bring them in once a year for a physical exam.

During your adult dog's exam, 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 veterinarian will also administer any necessary vaccines, discuss your dog's diet and nutritional needs, recommend appropriate parasite protection, and discuss any training or behavioral issues you may be experiencing.

If your veterinarian detects any signs of developing health issues your vet will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.

Senior Dogs

Dogs are typically considered senior or geriatric when they are about eight years old, except in the case of giant breeds. Dogs such as Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards age more quickly than other breeds and will require more frequent preventive care earlier, typically around 5 years of age.

Because many canine diseases and injuries are more common in senior dogs, we recommend that you take your senior dog to the vet every six months. All of the checks and advice mentioned above will be included in your senior dog's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, along with a few additional diagnostic tests to provide additional 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 care for pets also includes a more proactive approach to keeping your pet comfortable as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior dog, ask your vet how often you should take a dog in for an examination.

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.

If you need to schedule a wellness exam and routine vaccinations for your pup, contact our Oceanside vets today!

Specialty Vets at Surfside Animal Hospital

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Surfside Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Oceanside companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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