When was the last time you went for a check-up? You know, blood pressure, cholesterol, maybe your blood sugar levels. Or maybe you have recently gone for an eye exam. We have regular checkups because we want to know that we are healthy. We also want to ensure our doctors can pick up any abnormalities as soon as possible. The same applies to your pet. Be it a dog, cat, parrot or rat – all animals need to have regular pet wellness exams to ensure they are as healthy as possible.
Days, months and years…
So how often? As with most things, there is no ‘one size fits all’. When you adopt an adorable bundle of furry joy, vets recommend a check-up once a month for the first three to six months. Although this depends on what type of animal you have adopted and their specific needs. Once your pet has reached maturity, pet wellness exams can be reduced to once a year. However, when pets start heading into their twilight years, you need to get the checked at least twice per year.
You are your pet’s voice
Your doctor asks you all kinds of questions during an examination. For example, your exercise habits, general lifestyle, and your diet. Unfortunately, our pets can’t speak human, so you have to provide the answers to these questions about your pet. It is important to be honest, especially when it comes to exercise, diet, and general behavior and habits.
And here comes the stethoscope
Once the vet has asked a few questions, they will give your pet a thorough examination, with all the information in mind. They will look at their eyes, ears, mouth, balance, general body condition, and heart and breathing rate. For some animals, they will also use their hands to feel if there are any abnormalities either under the skin or in palpable organs.
Vets may also request a stool, urine and/or blood sample as well as x-rays to cover all the bases. They will also give you advice regarding parasite prevention, weight control and its benefits, vaccinations and even how to care for your pet’s dental needs. Think of it as your pet’s life insurance examination. They may not pay the premiums, but it gives you, as their guardian, peace of mind.
But she doesn’t look sick?
Your average pet would usually have a very tough life fending for themselves in urban or rural settings, in which it could be dangerous or fatal to exhibit any signs of weakness, either to their social unit or to a potential predator. This means that displaying signs of ill-health or pain would make them vulnerable. Although, as their guardian, you have given them all the comforts their little hearts could desire, that instinct is still strong within them. So if you wait until you see signs that your animal is looking sickly or behaving strangely (especially in very young and very old animals), the problem they are experiencing may already be in the advanced stages. The saying ‘better safe than sorry’ really does apply here. Regular pet wellness exams are of the utmost importance to their health and your mental equanimity so book that appointment today.