Tests You Should Be Getting for Your Dog Every Year


From the moment we are born, we have to go to the doctor on a regular basis for certain tests, routine checkups and other maintenance issues. It’s important, because you never know when something might happen to you and finding out as soon as possible is what makes life just a bit simpler all around. After all, you’d rather be diagnosed as quickly as possible to ensure you have every possibility of being cared for as quickly as possible so that you have a bigger chance of living. It’s just the simple way. However, there are also other issues in life that we have to consider, and some of those have to do with our dogs. We have to have our dog’s health checked regularly, too. This is what helps them live longer, healthier lives.

Were you aware that there are a number of tests your dog should have performed on an annual basis to check for specific health-related issues? I didn’t; then again, I don’t own a dog. However, it’s still something that some dog owners are surprised to hear. What your vet’s office might tell you is that you should come back annually for a checkup. The office does not often mention that these checkups do include specific rounds of testing that are pertinent to the good health and longevity of your dog. Additionally, the older your dog becomes or the more health issues from which your dog suffers, the more likely he or she is to require additional testing on an annual basis.

Puppies are more likely to require frequent visits to the vet’s office as they are young and in need of many additional health screenings. As they get a bit older, however, you will only need to see the vet once a year for annual exams and only more frequently if you have any concerns about your dog’s health. As your dog enters his or her senior years, however, it becomes necessary for your dog to then require additional health testing and visits to the vet. Understanding how frequently your dog needs to see the vet can help you understand with ease all that is required of your dog. Read on to find out which tests your dog should receive annually.

Wellness Screening Tests

This is the most important round of tests your dog needs on an annual basis, and it consists of four different types of testing. This includes thyroid hormone testing, urinalysis, a CBC (complete blood count) and a biochemistry profile. These tests are used to determine overall health of a dog, and they are also preventative in ensuring that your dog’s overall health is satisfactory. The type of testing performed within this screening each year changes with the overall health and age of the dog, too. For example, puppies will receive the testing, but it might not be as aggressive or in-depth as it is for an older dog with more significant health issues to worry about. That means that your dog might or might not need further testing on an annual basis to check for good health.

Heartworm Testing

This is imperative, and the American Heartworm Society recommends that all dogs are tested annually for this particular health issues. Heartworms might sound very common, but they can be very dangerous. The frequency with which your dog should be tested no matter what is annually, but some dogs do require more frequent testing based on the prevalence of heartworms in their home and even the length and severity of mosquito season. Left untreated, this health issue has horrifying ramifications for your pet. Furthermore, simply because your dog is already being treated for heartworms or using heartworm prevention does not mean that he or she cannot contract them once again.

Fecal Test

There is some debate as to how often this is really required, but the crux of the situation entails that it should be required on an annual basis. It does, however, depend heavily on things like the age of a dog, the health of a dog and the medications a dog is already receiving. When dogs are given medication for heartworms, we know that they already have it. This means that a fecal test is necessary to determine whether or not deworming is also necessary. Adult dogs should receive this test at least once every calendar year. Dogs very commonly contract hook and roundworms, both of which are contagious and very dangerous to humans. Your health is another reason that your dog requires fecal testing on a regular basis.

Geriatric Screening

Have you ever heard your grandparents or even your parents mention the need for geriatric screening? What this is, is a series of tests that are performed to check for very specific health issues. For example, these can be performed to check for kidney disease and diabetes, among others. Both are serious health issues that can affect quality of life and also longevity. Your dog does require these annual tests to help prevent future illness. Your dog’s good health is a direct relation to his quality and length of life, and that means that your dog is going to require this type of testing. If you have hopes that your dog will live a long a healthy life, it’s imperative to have these tests performed regularly.

Medication Testing

Does your dog take medication regularly? If so, your dog will need to have medication testing on a regular basis so that he or she is able to use a more aggressive form of medicinal treatment or continue on the path that he or she is already on. Your dog might become a bit immune to certain medications over time and some medications, over time, become far less effective when used to treat certain health conditions and even illness. For this reason, it’s important for your dog to undergo regular testing to ensure that he or she is still taking an effective dose of medicine to ensure good health.

Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

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