Most people realize that they should take their pet to the veterinarian when they are sick, but did you realize that taking your pet for a vet visit is just as important when they are well?

All pets should visit the veterinarian at least twice a year (more often if they are sick or elderly). This is an important opportunity for you and your veterinarian to discuss problems, catch signs of illness, and help ensure your pet a happy and healthy life. So what happens at a wellness appointment that is so important?

Nose-to-tail Wellness Exams

During a wellness exam, every inch of your pet will be thoroughly examined. Eyes and ears will be checked and an oral exam conducted. Skin and coat will be assessed and your pet will be evaluated for any lameness or stiffness. Weight and overall body condition will be observed. The abdomen will be palpated and any lumps or bumps recorded. The heart and lungs will be auscultated. This is important so that your vet can not only pick up on abnormalities during your pet’s exam, but also become familiar with what is “normal” for your pet.

Pet Health Evaluation and Follow-up

The veterinary staff will discuss with you what has been going on at home. This is the time to bring up any concerns as well as alert your vet to any changes in your pet’s overall behaviors and habits. This is also a good time to bring up any behavioral concerns or ask questions regarding things like food choices and parasite prevention.

Many times your vet will have recommendations for further care of your pet. This may include things like blood panels, dental procedures, or prescription diets. Keep in mind that many of these recommendations do not need to be completed immediately. Oftentimes they can be spread out so as to ease the financial burden of caring for your pet. Be sure to ask about what timeline is appropriate.

Routine wellness exams are perhaps one of the most important factors in caring for your pet. Don’t wait until your pet is sick! Get ahead of the game and provide good preventive care for your healthy pet!