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Published: Apr 27, 2012

Some pet owners may view a trip to the veterinary clinic as necessary only when a pet has a clear medical issue. However, yearly check-ups can help catch important signs and changes not visible to the untrained eye indicative of serious diseases, according to the Dayton Daily News.

When owners get a new puppy, they're in the veterinarians office quite often for dog vaccinations and other appointments critical to a dog's early health. Yet owners need to continue the routine as their animal grows, visiting the veterinarian at least once per year, if not more.

The veterinarian will perform a complete exam of the dog. Often, this detects issues that the owner may have missed, such as the early signs of dental or heart disease. By going every year, the veterinarian can track the dog's progress and will notice if anything has changed.

This is also a great opportunity for pet owners to begin a dialogue with their veterinarian about their pet's health and behavior. Be sure to bring up any unusual incidents with the pet over the past year, no matter how minor. If necessary, the vet might schedule a follow-up appointment or run some tests to delve deeper into pet health issues.  It is best to detect medical issues early so appropriate treatments can be started for the best possible outcome for your dog.