When it comes to keeping your dog healthy, most of the hard work will happen at home. But even when you provide your companion with a healthy amount of exercise, diet, and hygiene, it’s still important to visit with a veterinarian for a routine checkup. If you’re a new dog parent, here are a few important things to know about pet wellness exams.
Pet Wellness Exams for Dogs
When Should I Schedule a Wellness Exam?
For the average adult dog, wellness exams should generally happen once a year. However, your pet’s schedule will ultimately depend on his or her age and overall health.
For example, puppies may visit several times in the first year, while seniors tend to receive care every six months. Dogs that have specific health conditions, such as diabetes, may require more frequent check-ups to minimize the risk of complications.
What Should I Expect During the Appointment?
Wellness exams start with a review of all your dog’s vital measurements, including weight and body temperature. During the physical examination, the veterinarian will inspect coat quality as a way to assess nutritional wellness, as well as to check for fleas and ticks.
The doctor will feel around the body to look for any abnormalities—such as fat lumps or joint issues—and get a read on heartbeat and breathing. Teeth may also be checked to see if a dental cleaning is necessary.
Several tests may also be performed during the exam to assess how your pet’s organ systems are functioning. Basic tests may involve blood, urinary, and fecal samples. If immunizations are needed, these appointments are also a good time to catch up.
What Are the Benefits?
The biggest advantage of pet wellness exams is to detect potential health risks and learn how you may be able to prevent them. Sticking to regular appointments will also ensure that your canine companion never misses out on vital disease protection from pet vaccines. In the event that your dog is developing a medical issue, early detection will allow your vet to prescribe treatment and limit the risk of future complications.
Even if your pup is in perfect shape, visiting with the vet every year can be a good way to review your overall pet care practices, such as fitness or nutrition. If your dog takes certain medications, these check-ups will allow you and the doctor to make sure it’s still the most appropriate form of treatment.
When it comes to providing your dog with lifelong medical care, it’s important to work with a veterinarian you trust. Serving the Boone County area for more than 30 years, Florence Veterinary Hospital is an ideal place for both routine and emergency pet care. From routine pet vaccines to advanced pet surgery, these Florence, KY, veterinarians have the necessary resources and expertise to help your dog thrive. Visit this clinic online to learn more about their approach to optimal care, including their extremely convenient mobile vet service. To schedule an appointment, call (859) 371-6501.