Most dog owners would like to limit the number of visits to the veterinarian to once a year. The annual visit is for the dog’s vaccinations and for the veterinarian to give the dog a standard examination. Additional visits prove to be expensive and may not be one of the dog’s favorite outings.

There is one key factor that would make the veterinarian’s job much easier. That key factor is ‘time‘. If the veterinarian can address a problem in its early stages, then it increases the chances of being successful in managing the problem. If the problem has progressed, the degree of difficulty increases significantly.

In giving the veterinarian more time, often the dog does not help. Some dogs are simply stoic. They are often so successful in hiding their discomfort and masking the problem. As a dog owner, it helps to touch the dog regularly from nose to tail. Touch every part of the dog. Are there any new bumps and lumps that were not there the last time you gave the dog a close inspection? Has the dog developed a sensitive area which causes a reaction?

These are early warning signs. Detecting a problem in the early stages may give the veterinarian a chance to prevent it from becoming more significant. This examination routine can be a regular event. For example, it can be done while watching a favorite television show. If it is a routine, the dog will accept it readily.

This is more than just petting your dog. It is developing a knowledge of your dog with your hands. It is a health check. And it is a routine that gives your dog’s veterinarian much better odds with the dog’s health problem.

Catherine Forsythe