PARTNER WITH A VETERINARIAN Regular veterinary visits should begin as soon as you acquire your new dog. In the case of puppies, they do get some immunity from their mothers; however, this immunity begins to decrease soon after they are weaned. Puppies should be vaccinated against canine diseases and checked periodically for worms and other parasites. Your adult dog should also receive regular vaccinations on a timetable determined by your veterinarian. Dogs of all ages should have an annual medical examination. Be sure to bring your dog in for an annual veterinary checkup. This will enable your veterinarian to note any changes occurring from year to year, catch any issues early and keep your pet on a healthy track. THE ROUTINE EXAM During your dog's routine examinations, your veterinarian will listen to his chest for heart and breath sounds; feel his abdomen; check the condition of his coat; and inspect his eyes, ears and mouth. The routine exam also may include examination of the feces to check for internal parasites, in which case you will be asked to bring a stool sample. A thorough dental checkup by the veterinarian also should be included in your dog's regular exam.