An Ounce of Prevention: Care for Your Dog

Your dog's annual checkup is an important part of keeping him/her healthy and happy. An annual physical allows Dr. Phimister to provide preventive care and catch any health concerns early so that appropriate treatment can start as soon as possible.

​An annual exam includes the following:​

Checking the nose, eyes and ears for any abnormalities.

Examining the health of the teeth and gums.

Looking at skin and coat to see if there is any irritation or signs of parasites.

Palpation of the abdomen, feeling for any abnormalities.

Listening to the heart and lungs.


Rabies - First vaccine at four months, then one annual booster, then a booster every three years.

Distemper, Parvovirus and Adenovirus - At least three doses given between six and 16 weeks of age and a booster one  year after completing the initial series followed by a booster every three years.

Parainfluenza - Administered at six to eight weeks of age, then every three to four weeks until 12–14 weeks old. A booster may be necessary after one year depending on manufacturer recommendations; revaccination every three years is considered protective.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica (kennel cough) - Vaccination schedule depends on the vaccine type: one dose of the intranasal product or two doses of the injected product. Two doses are usually needed for protection. Annual or semi-annual boosters may be recommended for dogs in high-risk environments.

Lyme Disease - The first dose is administered as early as nine weeks, with a second dose two to four weeks later. May be needed annually prior to the start of the tick season.

Leptospirosis - First dose at 12 weeks; second dose four weeks later. Boosters are due at least once yearly for dogs in high-risk areas.

Canine Influenza - First dose as early as six weeks; second dose two to four weeks later. Boosters are given yearly as a preventive measure.