If your pet is sick, what do you do?
You take them to visit the veterinarian, of course!
But what about when your pet is feeling fine?
Wellness visits should be done regularly to KEEP your pet from getting sick! Just like humans should visit with their primary doctors to make sure their health is in check, our furry companions should see their doctor at least annually for a check-up. By maintaining regular wellness visits, we can sometimes end up saving money on sick visits that can avoided.
What can I expect at my visit?
Your pet is there for an overall health check! Most veterinarians will do a full physical examination– they’ll check from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail and everything in between. You can expect some questions regarding their behavior, eating and drinking habits, and any concerns you might have. The doctor will check their heart rhythm, breathing, and feel around for any abnormalities.
How can doing these visits routinely help my pet’s overall health?
You are with your pet every day, so you may not always notice a slight change in their habits here and there, and that’s okay! By taking your pet in for routine wellness visits, your veterinarian will be able to note any changes since their last visit, and that information may come in handy. Has their behavior changed? How about their weight? Perhaps their eating habits? Subtle changes in various aspects of their health may be more telling of an underlying issue, and the sooner you catch it, the better!
What else is involved in wellness care?
If your pet is due for any vaccination boosters, your veterinarian will be able to let you know and update those at this time. They can also recommend or refill prescriptions for parasite prevention, as well as offer any at-home tips, like changes in diet, dental care, or skin treatments.
What about diagnostic tests?
First of all, what qualifies as a diagnostic test? Bloodwork, X-rays, fecal testing, and urinalysis are all examples of ones that can be done. They are a vital part of keeping a close eye on your pet’s health, so doing these tests somewhat regularly might be something your veterinarian suggests to you, especially as your pet approaches “senior” years. Doing these tests, even when your pet is not sick, gives you a baseline view of their health. As your pet ages, regular diagnostics will be a guide-map to any indications of health decline.
Wellness exams are the best way to take preventative measures for your pet’s health and ensure they are able to be your best friend and sidekick for many years to come. By catching any health issues early, you are doing your pet a great service and can hopefully avoid any suffering from something that went undetected. Many veterinary clinics now offer wellness plans and packages that help owners plan out costs of services and make monthly payments in order to keep those overall costs low. Check with your local veterinary clinics to find a program near you, and help those lovable pets stay well!