Preventive Care for Dogs
Commit to a lifetime of health.
Preventive care is an essential part of keeping your dog happy and healthy. It will give you peace of mind and increase the odds of detecting underlying health conditions before they become advanced and expensive.
How often should my dog see a veterinarian?
At Merrifield Animal Hospital, we make our preventive care recommendations using the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). From there, our veterinarians further customize their suggestions based on hereditary factors including your dog’s age, lifestyle, and medical history.
Typically, we suggest scheduling at least one annual exam during which one of our veterinarians will review your dog’s medical history, assess their behavior, make dietary recommendations, and evaluate any known health conditions they may have.
What should I expect from a preventive dog care exam?
Think of your dog’s annual exam like your own yearly physical. At the appointment, we’ll read their temperature, examine their eyes, ears, teeth, and skin, listen to their heart and lungs, and evaluate their joint health.
You can also expect your veterinarian to make recommendations for:
- Vaccines based on your dog’s lifestyle or breed
- Core vaccines include rabies, distemper, and Leptospirosis, although your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccines like canine influenza, Bordetella, and Lyme
- Parasite prevention products to keep your dog safe from fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworms
- Diagnostic testing to identify any health conditions that cannot be detected during a physical exam and to confirm your dog is free from internal parasites
At your dog’s annual exam, your veterinarian will answer any questions you may have and discuss other services that could improve their overall health such as spay or neutering, microchipping, and dental care.
To schedule your dog’s annual exam, call us at (703) 560-1881 or request an dog exam appointment online.