Alison Laurie-Chalmers, Senior Consultant, Crown Vets Inverness
As we enter a new decade it is certainly a time for reflection.
I remember many of the lovely young puppies presented for their first vaccinations and check-ups ten years ago, many of those dogs are now in their senior years.
It has been rewarding and lovely to be able to be part of each of these pet’s life journeys and also to get to know their owners over this time during their check-ups. The bouncy, cute puppies and the elderly loyal senior dogs that have become established family members over the years, they are all very precious.
Taking regular care of your dog’s health over the years from puppy to senior stages is very important. Just like us, they require regular health checks, a nutritious diet, and adequate exercise to keep them happy, fit and healthy.
Senior dog health care is very different from that of a puppy which is also different again from an adult dog. Dog’s age much faster than we do, approximately one year for every seven human years. Regular vet health checks every month for puppies up to six months of age and then at least every six months for adults. This is strongly recommended for your dog’s wellbeing to identify any health issues that may require treatments. As your pet moves through each stage of their life, their health needs will also change. For example, a puppy has very different health requirements to an elderly dog. At a health check, your vet will be able to monitor the unique needs of your pet at the specific stage of its life – for example, paying special attention to an elderly pet’s heart function or a new puppy’s bone development.
Regular monthly checks as puppies from their first vaccinations until six months of age gives us the opportunity to check your puppy is developing well and is as healthy as possible. This includes checking their teeth, weight, skin, coat and overall general health. It’s also a great time for you to ask any questions you might have about caring for your new pet. Ongoing regular health checks and preventative health treatments are the best way to make sure your adult dog then maintains good health into their seniority, as prevention is always better than cure. Health checks hopefully alert us to any potential issues before they become serious. Also, early detection allows us to treat your pet as quickly and easily as possible and greatly increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Contact your vet to arrange an appointment for a health check for your pet in the New Year. Every year you have with your beloved pet is so special and we want to assist as much as we can in giving you more time with them.