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What to Expect

What to Expect at Your Dog’s Exam

We approach your dog’s care based on his life stage, rather than his age, because dogs mature at different rates, depending on size and breed.

Life Stages

  • Puppy: Newborn until reproductive maturity
  • Junior: Reproductively mature, still growing
  • Adult: Finished growing
  • Mature: From adult up to approximately the last 25% of expected lifespan (depends on the breed)
  • Senior: From maturity to life expectancy (depends on the breed)
  • Geriatric: At life expectancy and beyond

Your Dog’s Exam

During each exam, we will take your dog’s temperature and check his pulse and respiration. We will also talk to you about his lifestyle, vaccinations, parasites, dental care and routine tests that may provide a baseline when your dog is young and allow early detection of disease when your dog is older. We will also discuss:

Behavior: Including obedience training, normal behavior and problem behaviors such as puppy anxiety issues or adult dog phobias.

Nutrition: We can provide tools for you to make good choices to keep your dog at a healthy weight, and we can advise you about the quality and safety of food and supplements.

Dental care: With appropriate care, dental disease and the associated pain may be prevented or minimized. We will discuss and demonstrate dental home care options. The oral examination performed while your dog is awake allows the veterinarian to design a preliminary treatment plan. Only when your dog has been anesthetized can a thorough oral exam be performed.

Zoonotic and shared diseases: These are diseases that can be transmitted or shared between animals and people. Routine testing for zoonotic diseases helps protect your dog and your family.

Safety: We will help you identify hazards, such as plants, medications, and human foods toxic to pets, and wildlife or other animals that could harm your dog.

Reproduction and breeding: You may have your dog spayed or neutered. We will explain the behavior and health benefits and concerns. We can also screen your dog for breed-specific disorders if you are considering breeding.

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