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Do You Know Why Regular Pet Checkups are So Important?

When to Take Your Pet to the Vet vs the Emergency Animal Hospital

Think about how many regular medical appointments the average person attends in a year. There are dental cleanings, eye exams, and checkups with your family doctor, in addition to any condition-specific visits that a person may require. Now think about how regularly your pet visits their animal medical clinic in Vancouver.

If your pet is having problems eating, isn’t as energetic as it used to be, or has eaten something they shouldn’t have, you probably wouldn’t think twice about taking them to your animal medical clinic in Vancouver. But what about their regular, non-emergency care?

How Often Should Pets Be Seen by Their Animal Medical Clinic?

How often you should be taking your pet in for routine wellness checks depends on the animal and their life stage.

An otherwise healthy adult dog between 1 and 7 years of age should be taken into their Vancouver animal medical clinic once a year for a checkup. Puppies and senior dogs may require more frequent visits.  Puppies, because they are still developing and are in the process of receiving all their vaccinations, may have several visits to their vet over their first year.

Likewise, senior dogs, dogs over the age of 8, are more prone to serious health conditions and require more frequent animal medical clinic visits. They should be seen twice per year.

After getting all their vaccines in order, healthy adult cats should be taken to their vet once per year for wellness checks throughout their adult and mature years. Once your cat becomes a senior, after age 10, they should be taken in more regularly. Vets recommend twice-annual visits to your animal medical clinic for senior and super senior (over 15) cats.

What Happens During a Pet Checkup?

Often pet checkups coincide with vaccinations and booster shots. But in addition to vaccinations, your annual wellness checks enable your vet to give your pet a head-to-tail once over. Appointments will begin much like a visit to a doctor; your vet will want to go over your pet’s history and hear from you about any concerns that you may have.

The veterinarian will examine all the major areas, such as eyes, ears, mouth and teeth, and listen to the heart and lungs. They will also check the abdomen and musculoskeletal system for issues such as pain, tenderness, or masses, and test out your pet’s range of motion. If anything troublesome appears during the exam, your vet will be able to make the appropriate recommendations. Common issues often relate to weight and dental hygiene, in which case your vet can provide a nutrition plan or schedule a cleaning.

Why are Routine Pet Examinations So Important?

Unlike people, animals can’t tell you when something is bothering them, and unless you are a trained veterinarian, you might miss the early signs. Regular examinations help keep pets healthy, catching and treating conditions like obesity, dental disease, ear infection, and even heart and lung conditions, before they become potentially fatal.

As your pet gets older, they become more susceptible to problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and pain. While you may assume that they are simply less active due to their advancing age, they may actually have an underlying condition limiting their mobility that requires a treatment plan.

Dogs and cats are just like us. They need routine checkups to ensure they stay healthy and catch potentially concerning symptoms before they become complicated medical conditions. It’s time to make regular visits to an animal medical clinic in Vancouver part of your pet’s schedule.

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