Preventive Care for Dogs
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Preventive care is an essential part of keeping your dog happy and healthy. It will give you peace of mind and increase the odds of detecting underlying health conditions before they become advanced and expensive.
How often should my dog see a veterinarian?
At El Cerrito Veterinary Hospital, we make our preventive care recommendations using the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Our veterinarians then further customize their recommendations based on factors specific to your dog including their age, lifestyle, and medical history.
We recommend dogs see the vet at least once each year to review their medical history, assess behavior, make dietary recommendations, and evaluate any known health conditions. An annual exam is also required by law to refill prescriptions such as flea and tick prevention.
What should I expect from a preventive dog care exam?
Think of your dog’s annual exam like your own yearly physical. At the appointment, we’ll read their temperature, examine their eyes, ears, teeth, and skin, listen to their heart and lungs, and evaluate their joint health.
You can also expect your veterinarian to make recommendations for:
- Vaccines based on your dog’s lifestyle or breed
- Core vaccines include rabies, distemper, and Leptospirosis, although your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccines like canine influenza, Bordetella, and Lyme
- Parasite prevention products to keep your dog safe from fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworms
- Diagnostic testing to identify any health conditions that cannot be detected during a physical exam and to confirm your dog is free from internal parasites
At your dog’s annual exam, your veterinarian will answer any questions you may have and discuss other services that could improve their overall health such as spay or neutering, microchipping, and dental care.