Just like any other pet, once you accept responsibility for your working dog, it’s up to you to see that your new addition continues to get the best care possible to maintain health and longevity. It’s always recommended to have your newly adopted working dog examined by your veterinarian at the earliest possible convenience. A good physical examination and a review of the dog’s medical history, vaccines and heartworm status will give your vet a good baseline for future health maintenance planning. Remember, these dogs are highly trained athletes, and as such, may require as much or more than the average pet. They are subjected to some of the harshest environments and working conditions, and it’s not unusual for them to have some minor aches and pains. Unfortunately, many of these dogs are often retired due to some restrictive medical conditions that make them unsuitable for future service. It will be up to you to provide the follow-on care for your dog once you’ve adopted. Your veterinarian will be able to continue the necessary upkeep and maintenance of your retiree so he/she can live a healthy and happy life.