Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, taking your dog for regular visits to the vet is very important. Here’s why.
Your dog is vulnerable to a number of nasty canine diseases, including distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and kennel cough. By attending your veterinary surgery annually so that your dog can have his booster jabs, you will keep him protected from all these potentially fatal diseases.
Worms and Fleas
Even a very well-cared for dog can be susceptible to fleas and worms. Your pet could pick up fleas through contact with other dogs in the park and through contact with wildlife, including foxes, rabbits, and even hedgehogs. Roundworms and tapeworms are easily contracted through contact with other animals’ faeces, and worm eggs can also be brought into your home on your shoes, to be picked up by your dog. It’s important that you pop into the vets regularly to collect the recommended treatment for these pests and keep your dog safe.
Just like people, dogs’ teeth can become damaged and loose. A broken tooth can lead to root infection and gum disease, which can be miserable and painful for your pet if it’s not detected and treated quickly. A dental check-up with your vet every nine to 12 months will quickly highlight potential problems, before they become major health issues for your dog.
General Health Check
When your dog attends the vet for his annual vaccination boosters, he will also have a general health check. The vet will listen to the dog’s heart and lungs to ensure that they are in good order, in addition to checking his eyes, teeth, and limbs. This annual health check is a perfect opportunity to discover any minor problems and treat or manage them, before a potentially fatal condition develops. If you have an older dog (over 10 years of age) it’s a good idea to take him for a health check every six months.
It’s important that your dog’s nails are kept to a suitable length and are not allowed to become overgrown. Overgrown nails can cause problems with mobility and may lead to more serious issues, including toe and joint damage. Some owners are able to clip their dog’s nails at home, but if your dog becomes upset or aggressive, it’s best to take your pet to the vet every couple of months where his pedicure can be done by the nursing staff.