Most pet owners wouldn’t hesitate to bring their pets to the veterinarian when they’re sick or injured, but did you know that bringing your pet in for regular checkups is just as important?
It can be easy to skip your annual visit to the veterinarian, especially if your pet seems healthy. However, there’s so much more to pet wellness than meets the eye. These annual exams are one of the best investments you can make in your pet’s future.
The Pet Wellness Rundown
Regular pet wellness exams (at least once a year or more) are the best way to catch any signs of illness and injury early on, before they get out of hand. They’re also an opportunity for you and your veterinarian to discuss any concerns and to work together to provide the best quality of life for your sweet pet.
The pet wellness exam typically begins by reviewing the complete health history of your pet. Establishing your pet’s “health baseline” while they’re well is another important aspect of the visit, which starts with a thorough examination of your pet’s ears, eyes, mouth, skin and coat, heart, lungs, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system. Your veterinarian may also order diagnostic tests to get a better handle on your pet’s baseline.
Other areas of pet wellness that will be addressed include:
- Dental health – Up to 85% of dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by the time they reach age three. If left untreated, dental disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, widespread systemic problems, and it can even decrease your pet’s life expectancy. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for at-home and follow-up dental care.
- Behavioral concerns – Behavioral problems in pets can put significant stress on the family, and a wellness exam is the perfect opportunity to seek help. Some behavioral issues can be linked to health concerns and should be discussed with your veterinarian.
- Nutrition/exercise – Obesity is a big problem in pets, but other health issues can also arise from improper nutrition. Your veterinarian will work with you to create the right nutrition profile and advise you on age-appropriate exercise for your pet.
- Spay/neuter – Besides doing your part to prevent pet overpopulation, having your pet spayed or neutered can protect them against certain diseases and can decrease or eliminate behavioral issues.
- Disease prevention – Year-round parasite control and up-to-date vaccinations are your pet’s best defense against devastating communicable and vector-borne diseases. Each pet receives recommendations for disease prevention tailored to their age, lifestyle, and other individual factors.