A common question that is asked is “how often should I take my dog or cat to the veterinarian?” The answer to this question relies on several factors including your pet’s age and general state of overall health, but for the most part it is determined by the age of your pet. Pet Health Hospital recommends “ongoing wellness exams” which are basically regular checkups of your pet’s condition, and during which point your veterinarian will be looking for specific things that are commonly known to effect a pet of the breed and age. While these types of exams are different than a visit to the veterinarian when your pet is showing some symptom of a problem, the point of a wellness exam is to potentially diagnose future issues before they manifest themselves into conditions that are obvious to the common person. Animals are quite good at masking health issues and hiding pain, as is their instinct due to an injured animal in the wild being easier prey than a healthy animal. Your dog or cat will only show visual symptoms of a potential condition once it is well into the point of being a major problem. Our specialized wellness programs look for the things that veterinary science has learned over the years are potential problems with your pet’s breed, in an attempt to avoid those issues. Surgeries and medical treatments can be very expensive, and our philosophy is that it is worth a small price and a small inconvenience on a regular basis in order to potentially avoid a major expense and potentially deadly health situation. We believe that the veterinary practice should be one of keeping animals healthy as well as treating them once they are sick.
Regular wellness exams should be done once every month during puppyhood or kittenhood up until about a year old. After a year then regular checkups should be at least once per year and older animals should be checked at least every six months. The determining factors that decide if your pet qualifies as “adult” or “senior” really depends on the breed as each type of pet has a different lifespan and age cycle. Keeping with regular checkups can help our veterinarians to keep your pet healthier, which can lead to a longer and happier life.
If your pet is acting in a way that is out of the ordinary, or showing any symptoms of pain or distress like excessive panting, excessive drinking, not eating or drinking or acting overly lethargic, it is best to schedule an appointment immediately instead of waiting for your next wellness exam. Distress of any kind in an animal is a symptom that there is something wrong that cannot wait even another day.
Pt Health Hospital offers free programs that assist pet parents in understanding the wellness exam schedules that would be most beneficial to their pets. Contact our staff to learn more information, and always remember that a little bit of inconvenience to have your pet checked out regularly can avoid larger issues and expenses down the road.