Chances are, you've thought about this, and not really known what would be a good timeframe to periodically take your pets to the doctor. Check out this article to find out why taking your pets to the vet from time-to-time is a good idea.
Regardless of whether you have a dog or a cat, they might just be like one of your children--you must definitely be spoiling them rotten, and also caring for them deeply. Since your pet is so important to you, their health must also be important! This isn't just limited to taking them on walks, feeding them a balanced diet, or pampering them with toys and treats (although all those are also important!). It includes being proactive and taking your pets to the vet regularly.
Read on to figure out why checkups are important, how frequently you should schedule them, and what you should get out of a health checkup.
Annual Checkups Are a Good Practice
Taking your pets to the vet annually can help detect (and sometimes even prevent) diseases and other life-threatening conditions, early on, saving you money, and heartache, in the long run. Just as you get things around you inspected and serviced, it also a good idea to check in with the doctor for your health, and your pet's health, to ensure that their vitals are in good shape. Often, most cats and dogs will not show symptoms for problems that have been building up, so it is best to have a professional assess things, just in case.
What to Expect at a Routine Vet Visit
Much like a human physical exam, the vet will ask you a few questions about your pet's overall eating and lifestyle habits. They will also take a few measurements, including their weight, and pulse. Here are a few other things they can ask you about:
- Vaccination history and status
- Blood tests for senior pets who are prone to more health problems
- Quality of urine and excretions, and tests to check the same, if anything seems amiss
- Digestion, including any concerns about gas, or abnormal stools
- Coughing, wheezing, sneezing, throat or nose discharge
- Coat and skin check for hair loss, lumps, rashes, discolouration or unusual spots
- Limbs, walking, standing, and the condition of their toenails/claws
- Ears and eyes for discharge, swelling, redness or itching
- Intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and heartworms
- Dental health, including teeth and mouth odour
- Water and food consumption
- Organs, to make sure they are not an unusual size
- Exercise levels and frequency
- Behavioural changes such as excessive vocalising or social isolation
How Often Should You Take Your Pet to the Vet
The frequency of vet visits depends on the age of the dog or the cat. Puppies and kittens grow at a rapid pace, and thus, require more vaccinations and attention. So, if your dog is under one-year-old, you should go more regularly for shots, and to keep a check on their growth.
After a year, you should take your dogs or cats to the vet annually for vaccinations and routine checkups.
Older dogs and cats, however, might require more frequent monitoring, since they have more health issues as they age. You might want to discuss with your vet whether bi-annual visits are needed for your pet.
The size and breed of your dog and cat also determine how quickly they age, and thus, how much attention they need.
A Healthy Animal is a Happy Animal
At the end of the day, your pet's health affects their overall well-being, which, in turn, can be a positive thing for you too! Therefore, invest some time and money in regular vet checkups, and keep your furry friend hale and hearty.