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You want the best for your dog, from the food you feed to the best medical care possible. As a veterinarian, I work with dog lovers like yourself, who want to do everything possible to keep their dog healthy and happy. Regular veterinary visits are an important part of maintaining your dog’s health.

How often should your pup be seeing their veterinarian? The best practice is to take your dog in for a wellness exam at least every six months. This may seem frequent, especially if your dog appears healthy. However, your dog ages at a much faster rate than humans. Your dog’s health can change rapidly in six months and it’s important not to wait an entire year before seeing your veterinarian.

Why Routine Vet Visits Are So Important

Your dog is your best friend and you know their quirks and habits, but you might be missing a few things your veterinarian will detect. Here are three things that pet parents commonly miss that a veterinary visit will detect:

Proactive Dental Care

Most dogs will have some form of dental disease by the time they are 3 years of age. Unfortunately, our dogs will never show us they are in pain by whimpering or avoiding food or toys. Your veterinarian will do a thorough oral examination and suggest a treatment plan. The earlier dental disease is detected, the easier it is to treat. Untreated dental disease can lead to problems in other organs such as the heart and kidneys.

Learn more about keeping your dog’s teeth clean.

Monitoring for Weight Gain/Loss

You see your dog every day and changes in their weight can happen so gradually that you may not notice the change. Even the most dog-obsessed parents can miss this. Weight loss can be a sign of serious underlying disease. More commonly, dogs gain weight over time. This can be a sign of an underactive thyroid, lack of exercise or too many calories. Extra fat can cause inflammation and put strain on your dog’s joints. This can increase your dog’s risk of injury and hasten the onset of arthritis.

Learn more about managing your dog’s weight.

Early Detection of Lumps & Bumps

Your veterinarian will inspect your pup from head to tail. They may be able to detect anything from a tick to a tumor. While many lumps are benign, the earlier the cancerous tumors are removed, the higher the chance of a cure.

While I recommend wellness visits twice yearly, here are a few other reasons to see your veterinarian:

Your veterinarian is a great addition to the daily care you are providing for your dog and can help guide your efforts to foster health and happiness for your pup.

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