Preventative Care for Dogs


2018 Preventive Health Program for Dogs

When we regularly exam your dog, we establish and maintain a baseline for their health. That way, we’re more likely to identify wellness issues before they’ve progressed very far, perhaps even before your pet exhibits external symptoms. Prevention is easier on your dog (and your wallet!) than treating disease once it’s already set in.

We recommend annual exams for average, adult dogs and twice-annual exams for senior pets (pets seven years old and older). Canines with chronic health concerns often require more frequent exams as well so we can help them age in a healthy manner.

Below, we’ve shared our current preventive health care recommendations for your dog. For suggestions specific to your dog, schedule an appointment with your Bramer Animal Hospital veterinarian by visiting our website or calling 847-563-3158.

Current Preventive Health Recommendations for Dogs:

Annual Physical Examination and Health Consultation


  • Rabies (every three years for adult dogs).
  • Distemper-hepatitis-parvo (every three years for adult dogs).
  • Bordetella (kennel cough). This is required by dog parks, dog beaches, daycare and boarding facilities (requirements vary from yearly to every six months).
  • Leptospirosis (yearly and recommended especially for the same group of dogs that get the Bordetella vaccination).

Fecal Examination for Intestinal Parasites

This is required by dog parks, dog beaches and many daycare facilities and is recommended annually.

Heartworm Screening

This is recommended annually.

Heartworm Prevention

It is best to consider heartworm prevention monthly throughout the whole year or at least minimally June through December. Heartworm prevention is recommended for all dogs.

Intestinal Parasite Prevention

This is recommended if:

  • Your dog frequents dog parks, dog beaches, daycare and/or boarding facilities. There may be an increased risk of exposure to a wider variety of intestinal parasites.
  • You have young children. Potential exposure to parasite eggs in dog feces in your yard exists and some intestinal parasites of dogs can infect people.
  • Your dog has ever had whipworms.
  • You travel often with your dog to places outside your neighborhood.

We recommend using the heartworm preventive Sentinel or Interceptor Plus monthly and year-round for heartworm and intestinal parasite prevention. The year-round recommendation is based on a longer season of exposure to intestinal parasites than just heartworms.

If your dog does not fit the above risk factors, either Sentinel or Interceptor Plus seasonally (June to December) is adequate.

Fleas and Ticks

Ticks are more active in the springtime in our location (March, April, May and June). Prevention with FrontLine Plus, Vectra 3D monthly as well as Bravecto every three months are effective. Tick prevention in other areas of the country may need to be more frequent—please call if you have any questions.

Fleas are more active in the summer and fall (June to November). Prevention with FrontLine Plus, Vectra 3D and Advantage monthly is effective. Bravecto is an orally administered product with a three-month label to prevent both fleas and ticks. To make it simple, FrontLine Plus or Vectra 3D monthly from March to November or Bravecto every three months covers fleas and ticks in our area.

Newer Options for 2018

Trifexis is a heartworm, intestinal parasite and flea preventive medication that can be taken monthly. Visit for more detailed information.

Bravecto is a chewable pill that can protect your dog from ticks for three months and fleas for three months. Visit for more detailed information.

Interceptor Plus is a heartworm and major parasite preventive medication. Visit for more detailed information.