Skipping annual check ups
While it may be a pain to cart your dog into the veterinarian on an annual basis, doing so may save his life. “Simply getting your dog seen once or twice a year by a veterinarian can help improve life span,” says Dr. Brown, who stresses the importance of annual physicals even for seemingly healthy dogs. “Even if your dog is acting normally, something could be brewing inside,” she explains. And in the case of a dog’s heath, time is of the essence. “In some cases, by the time symptoms appear, there isn’t much we can do. But if we get treatment started early, that can help to improve a dog’s quality and quantity of life,” Dr. Brown adds.Solution: Experts, including Brown, recommend taking your pup in for an annual or bi-annual physical (especially for dogs over the age of 7). If there have been underlying conditions in the past, pet parents should ask for yearly blood work to follow up on such ailments. Dr. Werber also urges dog owners to keep their pets up to date on vaccinations to protect them from rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and bordatella.