An annual health check is the best way to stay on top of your animal’s health and wellbeing. A check-up goes far beyond their “annual needles” – a thorough examination by a veterinarian may be able to detect emerging problems early, or assess ongoing health concerns to ensure your pet receives the best possible care.
During the annual check, your vet will assess multiple physical characteristics, all of which help them determine the health of your pet. For example, your pet’s weight will be measured to ensure it is in a healthy range, their skin will be examined for any lumps, bumps and other abnormalities, and their teeth will be assessed to detect early signs of dental disease.
If you animal is getting a little older, your vet can also check on common senior animal issues such as arthritis, vision or hearing loss, mobility issues and dementia, and provide management advice or medication. Blood testing may also be recommended to screen for underlying disease processes.
The annual vet check also provides an opportunity to administer vaccines if they happen to be required that year (keep in mind that some core vaccines can be given every three years), to discuss any concerns you have about your pet, and to get expert pet care advice on anything from behavioural problems to the most suitable flea, worm or tick treatments. For animals on long-term medications, an annual check-up as a minimum is usually required.
Keep in mind that our pets age faster than we do, so a yearly check-up for them is not as frequent as you may think. One year for us can be equivalent to five or more years for your dog or cat. And, as with humans, most health issues can be treated more successfully if identified in their initial stages.
Ultimately though, an annual vet check is all part of responsible pet ownership and will allow you to know you are doing your very best to ensure your pet remains happy and healthy.