Check-ups are vital to maintaining your dog’s health so schedule regular visits to the vet. Here’s what else you need to know.
The average lifespan of a dog is 10 to 16 years, depending on their breed, size, temperament and health. To prolong the life expectancy of your dog, you should plan a regular preventative examination with the vet in addition to high-quality food, regular exercise and plenty of affection.
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- Regular checks
As diseases can often spread quickly and unnoticed in our four-legged friends, going for regular check-ups is extremely important. A check-up should take place at least once a year. The vet should assess the overall condition of your pet as well as checking their weight and listening to their heart and lungs. In older dogs, a urine and blood sample are included.
The blood test is used to detect inflammation, anaemia, acute and chronic diseases of internal organs, thyroid diseases, kidney and heart problems, infections and coagulation disorders. This examination is especially important after a trip abroad or before any surgical procedures. Elderly dogs are especially susceptible to disease.
You should also ask your vet to check that your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations.
- Home care
Between visits to the vet you can do a quick check at home yourself so that you can quickly detect any changes and deal with them accordingly. Eating habits, excrement, their smell and activity levels are good indicators of your dog’s health. Their weight, fur, skin, eyes, ears, teeth and breath also point to what shape their health is in.
You should regularly check your dog for ticks and fleas and have them dewormed. If you have a dog sitter, make sure they inform you if they notice anything unusual in your dog.
- Alarm signals
If you find something strange when doing your home check-up, you should contact the vet immediately. Conspicuous symptoms include sudden twitching, cramping, shortness of breath, weight or skin changes, unusual eating and drinking habits, constant tiredness, coughing fits and indigestion.
Those who worry about the high costs for treatment at the vet should think about getting health insurance for their pet. Some insurance companies even cover the costs of check-ups!
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