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10 Reasons Your Pets Need Regular Wellness Visits

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Many claim that animals are their babies, but that isn’t often reflected in how often they are taken to the vet. While cost is a factor for many families, often times regular wellness visits can keep our furry friends healthy in the long run.

Here are 10 questions pet owners can ask at regular wellness visits

1. How often do I take my dog or cat to the vet for basic well visits?

You should always ask your vet, but in general, once a month is the rule for kittens and puppies. Once a year is typical for young adult dogs and cats and then twice year when they get older.

2. How important is dental care?

Very. By going to well visits, your vet will let you know exactly how often your animal needs to come back for a cleaning, what you can do at home, and if there are any current issues you didn’t know about that can be nipped in the bud before they become more serious – potentially costing much more money.

3. What will my veterinarian check during a wellness examination?

During a routine wellness examination, your veterinarian will ask you questions about your dog’s diet, exercise, thirst, socialization, bathroom habits, overall behavior (emotions and disposition) and basic health.

4. What will the vet provide in terms of preventative care?

Based on your pet’s history and physical examination, your veterinarian will then make recommendations for specific preventive medicine treatments such as vaccination, parasite control (including preventive treatments for fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites and heartworms), nutrition, skin and coat care, weight management or dental care. In addition, your veterinarian will discuss your pet’s individual circumstances and decide whether any other life-stage or lifestyle recommendations would be appropriate.

5. More specifically, what will an examination look like during a wellness visit?

Your veterinarian will observe or inspect:

  • How your dog walks and stands
  • Whether your dog is bright and alert
  • Your dog’s general body condition
  • The hair coat (What does the skin look like? Is it oily? Dry? Are their odd bumps and thickening? Dandruff?)
  • The eyes (Are they clear? Are they leaking? Are they read? Are stys present? Can the animal blink easily?)
  • The ears (Are they clean? Can they hear? Is there any drainage or cysts?)
  • The nose and face (Can the animal breathe clearly? Is it symmetric?)
  • Mouth and teeth (Is there tartar? Buildup? Excessive salivation or messed up teeth?)
  • The heart (Is it a normal rhythm?)
  • The lungs (Are they clear? Are any odd sounds present?
  • The pulse (Is it strong and healthy?)
  • The lymph nodes in the region of the head, neck and hind legs (Are they swollen?)
  • The legs (Are they strong and stable?)
  • The abdomen (Is it puffy? Is there discomfort or evidence of problems with the bladder, kidneys, liver, intestines, spleen and stomach?

6. What kind of diet should my pet be eating?

Your vet will recommend a diet based on your pet’s size, breed, age and physical activity. It’s becoming common for folk to seek out holistic doctors in this area to get away from corn-based food and find more organic alternatives.

7. Why does my animal act the way he or she does?

A vet can act as an animal psychologist at times. Often the way an owner feeds or talks to a dog can be witnessed in a vet’s office. A vet can give suggestions on nutrition and training that can greatly improve the bond between the owner and the animal. The healthier an animal is, emotionally and physically, the longer the animal can stay out of the vet’s office. Many find their vet’s expertise invaluable at wellness visits for this reason.

8. What about parasites?

For many, this is the best reason to make routine visits to the vet. Not only can the vet deduce whether your pet has them or not, they can also let you know what to do to prevent them via the animal’s diet and social interactions.

9. How important are vaccinations?

There are various schools of thought on this. While many believe in the standard preventative shots, there is a growing crowd of pet owners who are concerned about over vaccinating their four pawed friends. This is another area where it might be worth considering a holistic vet who can keep your pet healthy more naturally.

10. Is there anything I need to do to prepare my dog for a wellness examination?

When you book the appointment with your veterinarian, you should ask whether you should fast your dog before the visit. You should also ask whether you should bring in fresh urine or fecal samples. Come prepared with some basic information, such as the brand and type of food that your dog eats, whether the family feeds it people food, extra treats, supplements, and whether anybody in the family has noticed any problems. This is also the time that you should take note of any concerns you might have and make inquiries into optimal health maintenance strategies for your furry friend.

By maintaining wellness visits, you’ll be sure to have your animal around to enjoy for as long as possible.
If your pet needs medication, or is on recurring medication, and you need help with alleviating the costs, take a look at how SimpleRx can help.

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