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Why you should never postpone your dog's annual visit to the vet

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The process of bringing your dog to the vet can be somewhat trying, particularly if your pet pooch gets a bit hyper during car journeys or anxious when they're at the vet clinic. However, regardless of how stressful you may find this experience, it's crucial not to skip it. Here are two reasons why your pet needs to attend their annual check-ups.

To keep their vaccinations up to date

A lot of new pet owners aren't fully unaware of the importance of dog vaccinations. Because of this, they make the mistake of failing to keep up with the recommended vaccination schedule.  

This type of error could have serious consequences for your dog. It could put them at risk of developing chronic illnesses that either require long-term medication usage or are potentially life-threatening.

Distemper, for example, is an extremely contagious and often fatal viral disease for which there is currently no cure; it causes severe damage to a dog's respiratory and central nervous systems. Even if a dog that develops this condition survives, they will usually be left with serious health problems such as paralysis and brain damage. The only way to protect your pet against distemper is to have them vaccinated. Dog vaccinations can also prevent the development of other dangerous conditions, including canine parvovirus and canine adenovirus.

To detect early symptoms of disease

If your dog isn't exhibiting any obvious signs of illness (such as vomiting, limping or whimpering, for example), it's all too easy to assume that they are in good health. However, it's important to realise that the early signs of many serious diseases can be hard to detect. If you decide not to bother bringing them for their annual vet appointment because they seem to be healthy, it's possible that an illness that they have recently developed will go unnoticed until it reaches a more advanced stage.

An undetected disease that continues to progress will not only result in your pet pooch suffering needlessly, but could also reduce the chance of a positive outcome from any medical treatments they eventually receive.

Let's say, for example, that your dog develops gingivitis, but you are unaware of this fact and mistakenly believe that they are perfectly healthy. You, therefore, decide that a trip to the vet for a routine check-up isn't necessary. This seemingly harmless decision could eventually result in your beloved pet developing full-blown periodontal disease, a condition which can not only result in tooth loss (which will affect your dog's ability to chew and digest their food properly) but could also potentially affect other organs in their body (research indicates that dogs with advanced periodontal disease may be at risk of developing heart disease too).

However, if you do decide to go for that annual appointment at the vet, a simple scale-and-polish could prevent any further health complications.