When budgets gets tight and to-do lists get long, it’s sometimes easy to skip your pet’s annual checkup, especially if your canine or feline companion seems to be in relatively good health. However, it’s important to consider the benefits of not forgoing the yearly exam.
A wellness veterinary exam typically consists of a general health assessment including measurement of temperature, pulse, respiration, and weight, as well as an eye and ear examination. Appointments also sometimes include blood work, a stool sample, or urinalysis. More testing may be done depending on the vet’s observations and the owner’s concerns. This process allows for diseases to be caught early on, which oftentimes results in a better prognosis.
Vet offices often attempt to schedule wellness exams when vaccinations are due, allowing for owners to check two things off their to-do list at once. Wellness exams are also a fantastic opportunity to discuss flea and tick prevention, heartworm protection, and other preventive measures with your pet’s veterinarian. For most dogs and cats, annual wellness exams are sufficient. However, older pets or animals suffering from certain health conditions may benefit from visiting the vet more often. It’s a good idea to discuss your pet’s individual needs with a veterinarian.