Protecting Your Pet: What To Expect During Annual Check Ups For Your Dog


Just like humans, furry family members benefit from yearly wellness visits. Older dogs often require twice-yearly visits for closer monitoring. Most check ups are quick, but they can help you identify health problems early, which gives your dog the best possible outcome. Early diagnosis can also save you hundreds or thousands of dollars on treatments for conditions that are more expensive to treat as they advance, such as cancer.    

Ask your veterinarian what kind of information you need to have on hand, as well as anything you need to bring, such as recent urine or stool samples.

General Health Questions

When you arrive at the pet clinic, the first thing your dog's veterinarian will likely do during an annual visit is ask you about your pet's general health and behavior. Be prepared to discuss what and how much your dog eats and drinks, how much exercise it gets, and any behavior issues or questions you have, including aggressive behavior, excessive barking, indoor accidents, coughs, and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, or gas.

Physical Examination

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your dog, including checking its hair, skin, nails, muscles, joints, ears, eyes, and teeth. This examination shouldn't be painful for your pet, but your dog may have to be calmed by you or restrained if it is particularly anxious about being examined. It can be difficult to determine if your dog has a health condition because many conditions don't present with obvious symptoms, particularly in the early stages, so regular physical examinations help your vet determine if further examination, testing, or treatment is necessary.

Routine Tests

Routine tests, including blood tests, urinalysis, and thyroid hormone testing, are often recommended on a yearly basis. These tests are quick and relatively painless, and they help your dog's vet get a more complete picture of its overall health status. Common blood testing includes screening for heartworm, red and white blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and electrolyte quantity. Some vets may request you to bring a stool sample, particularly if you've expressed concern about gastrointestinal issues or parasites. If your dog is older or your veterinarian notices potential abnormalities during the physical examination, the vet may advise additional x-rays to get a better look at the bones, joints. or internal organs.


Most pet clinics send reminders via mail or email when your dog is due for vaccinations, but if your pet is behind, a yearly check up is a great time to make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Your dog may not need vaccinations or boosters every year, but rabies and Lyme disease boosters are common at regular intervals. If your dog is higher risk for some diseases due to breed, other health conditions or geographical area, it may need yearly boosters for other diseases, such as coronavirus and leptospirosis. Most regularly-needed boosters can be given as a combination vaccine so your dog doesn't need to go through several needle pricks.

If it's been more than a year since your canine companion's last vet visit, give your pet clinic or animal hospital a call to set up an appointment and discuss any health concerns or questions you have with your dog's veterinarian.


14 November 2017

Talking About Vet Services

Hello, I’m Manuel. I would like to discuss the various services offered by veterinarians. Animals are creatures that do not always clearly convey when they are sick or in pain. Regular vet visits can ensure your pets are not quietly suffering from a medical condition without showing signs of a problem. Vets check the pet’s vitals and check for subtle signs of a problem to determine if additional diagnostic tests are required. I will explore the diagnostic process vets use for each health condition or injury. My site will also cover information about common treatments used for pets. Please visit again soon.