Your pet’s annual wellness exam is also known as a ‘checkup.’ These checkups happen once or twice a year when your dog is healthy. Routine exams focus on prevention and early disease diagnosis to improve your pet’s health. Taking your healthy dog to the vet periodically allows him to monitor his health and check for early signs of diseases.
What does a pet check-up cover?
Routine wellness exams include the following elements and more.
Your vet should give a puppy immunization schedule or remind you when your dog’s vaccinations are due. The timing will depend on the vaccination required, including distemper, leptospirosis, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and Bordetella (kennel cough). As part of the ‘Pet Passport’ program, a rabies vaccination is required to travel with a dog.
Another instance where prevention is preferable to cure is the control of ticks, fleas, and worms. Remember that fleas or their larvae can remain in your home and yard all year, and ticks can carry diseases. Your veterinarian can advise you to avail their services on flea and tick prevention, as well as how to avoid tapeworm and, if necessary, lungworm.
Treatment and prevention of bad behavior.
In your dog’s pet physical checkup, highlight any strange or withdrawn behavior, such as excessive barking, biting, or chewing your shoes when you turn your back. If caught in the early stages, these are usually manageable. Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with some helpful hints or refer you to a trained behaviorist. Your vet may offer local puppy training sessions if your dog is a puppy.
When considering how to care for your dog, one of the most important factors to consider is neutering. If you’ve adopted an adult dog, they’ve already been neutered. Still, suppose you’ve got a puppy or an un-neutered older dog. In that case, your vet can teach you about the benefits of neutering and aftercare to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Your veterinarian will also examine your dog’s teeth to determine whether they need to be cleaned and, if so, when. Tooth care is especially important for elderly dogs since dental illness can cause discomfort and internal organ problems due to harmful bacteria. This dental check is also an excellent opportunity to discuss your home teeth cleaning routine with your veterinarian. Another case where prevention is superior to cure.
Weight and physical condition.
Obesity is an all-too-common problem in dogs, so take advantage of the opportunity to weigh your dog on the vet’s scales as frequently as possible and keep a close eye on your furry friend’s body condition by assessing them at home. There are ways to help an obese dog. Talk to your veterinarian about a diet and exercise plan, or see if your veterinary practice has a weight loss program. If your dog has lost weight since their last weigh-in, it could be a symptom of a health condition.
To Wrap it Up
After the examination is finished and your pet has received its annual vaccinations, your veterinarian will discuss any findings with you. If your veterinarian detects any signs of illness or injury, they will speak with you about more detailed diagnostics or available treatment options. Suppose your dog or cat is given a clean bill of health. In that case, your veterinarian may provide advice or recommendations about your pet’s diet and exercise routines, oral health, or parasite prevention.