An annual wellness check is important for pets, especially kittens, new puppies, and older pets to evaluate their general health, vaccinations, and deworming. Unfortunately, most pet owners visit their veterinarians only when their furry friends show signs of sickness, often skipping regular exams when they seem healthy. Wellness exams are important for pets, just like humans.
Annual wellness checks for pets help identify early signs of pet diseases like diabetes, obesity, or tooth decay. They also allow pet owners to ask pertinent questions regarding their pet’s health. Expect the following during your pet’s annual wellness checks.
Annual physical exams are important for pets of all ages. Young pets should be examined at least once every year, while senior pets should be seen by veterinarians at least twice a year or as required. Physical checkup visits should be done in addition to other visits to address specific health issues.
Since pets cannot communicate, pet owners should schedule annual physical checks even if they appear healthy. Veterinarians can “communicate” with pets by conducting an extensive physical exam. They can easily recognize subtle signs of impending health issues and recommend further checks.
Apart from vet checks, your conversation with the veterinarian is also crucial during a wellness physical exam. Your vet can learn more about pet illness and pain from what you have noticed regarding your pet’s behavior in the previous weeks or months.
Medical History Updates and Checks
The primary purpose of wellness checks is to find and treat possible health issues before they become problematic, expensive, and challenging to treat. Wellness exams help veterinarians build on your pet’s previous medical history for various health benefits. Your vet will recommend the frequency of medical history checks based on your pet’s general health condition and age.
Vets check for the presence of heartworm, lumps, tooth decay, and any other developing irregularities since the last visit. The vet also collects information about your pet’s lifestyle, such as:
- Notable diet changes
- Level of physical activity
- Weight and vitals
- Previous medical conditions
- Normal functions, such as bowel function, hearing, vision, and sleeping
Vaccinations are also important for pets. They help your furry friends develop antibodies that protect them from common diseases. Adhering to your pet’s vaccination schedule helps them resist disease infection. They can also promote recovery if they get infected.
Your vet will recommend several vaccines during your annual wellness checks depending on the pet’s general health, age, lifestyle, and vaccination history. Besides warding off diseases, vets administer vaccinations to prevent parasites, specifically fleas, and ticks.
Your vet can also recommend additional tests for your pet besides general checks. Pet owners should consider additional wellness tests because early detection and treatment of most pet conditions are affordable and less invasive. Complete blood count, urinalysis, and thyroid hormone testing are among the common additional tests done. These screen for common pet health issues even if there are no symptoms.
If you own large breeds or senior pets, detailed diagnostic tests, such as x-rays and imaging tests are also insightful. If done annually, additional tests help vets gather valuable information about the pet’s general health and age-related conditions. Other additional activities done during annual checks include microchipping and neutering when necessary.
Wellness Plan Setup for the Next Year
Pet owners should create a wellness plan for their pets for the following year after completing the current annual evaluation. You will easily become accustomed to your pet’s health status by adhering to routine planned visits. Planning a pet wellness setup also helps you budget for your pet’s medical expenses.
Wellness exams are beneficial to your pets in many ways. Generally, pets seen by their vets annually will likely live longer and healthier compared to pets that do not regularly see their veterinarian. Contact Naples Coastal Animal Hospital today to book your pet’s wellness exam or to ask any questions.