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D2007-43

Dear Daisy Dog

I read that most healthy people don’t need annual physicals. Does the same hold true for my dog?

Daisy Responds

No. Healthy young dogs need to be examined every year, and older dogs need exams every six months.

I turned seven this year, which means I am middle-aged. At this stage of my life, things will start to go wrong, so I’ll need more frequent physicals than I did when I was young.

We pets can’t tell you when there’s a problem, but a veterinarian can recognize it by examining us and doing some simple lab work.

If there’s trouble brewing, it’s best to catch it early, before it causes permanent damage.

Besides, the old saying that we dogs age seven years for every year you humans age means that even semi-annual exams are equivalent to a human seeing the doctor only once every 3.5 years.

So continue to schedule annual exams until your dog reaches my age, when you should request semi-annual wellness exams.

Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations about lab work to identify any problems with internal organ function.If you do, your dog will likely live a longer, healthier, more comfortable life.

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