What Is Included in a Pet Wellness Exam?

Keeping your pet happy and healthy will help ensure that your furry family member loves their home. A pet wellness exam is a routine examination that is done even when an animal appears healthy. The exam is not about examining a sick animal but maintaining the animal’s good health. 

The wellness exam is sometimes referred to as a physical examination or checkup. You should not wait until your pet is sick to schedule an appointment with the vet. The goal of a wellness exam is to ensure the maintenance of the pet’s optimal health. 

How Often to Schedule Pet Wellness Exam

When wondering how often your pet should have a wellness exam, you should consider the animal’s age and health status. Puppies or very young animals should get wellness exams every month. 

For the average adult dog, scheduling annual wellness exams is recommended. If your pet is middle-aged, senior, or geriatric, wellness exams should be scheduled every six months. If your pet suffers from a certain illness, talk to your veterinarian about how often to schedule wellness examinations. 

Your Pet and the Aging Process

There is a common misconception that seven years of a dog’s life is equivalent to one human year. The truth is that puppies age very fast and the aging process slows as the dog gets older. One year of a dog’s life can be equal to between four to fifteen human years. 

Puppies reach maturity very fast, becoming adolescents as they turn one year old. In his second dog year, your pet’s rate of aging will slow down. By the second birthday, your pet will be about 24 to 25 in human years. 

After the second year, the aging rate is approximately four or five years depending on the breed and size. Large dog breeds age faster than smaller breeds.

During a Routine Wellness Exam

During the wellness exam, the veterinarian will start by asking questions about your pet’s diet, exercise, thirst, and elimination patterns. You will also answer questions about the pet’s behavior, habits, lifestyle, breathing, and general health. The veterinarian will then perform a physical examination before making health recommendations based on the results. 

The veterinarian may recommend specific preventive medications such as parasite control and vaccinations. You will also receive tips on nutrition, weight management, joint health, skin, and dental care. 

Complete Physical Examination

During the wellness exam, the veterinarian will carry out a physical exam. The exam involves observing the animal’s general appearance, feeling parts of the body, and listening to the chest using a stethoscope. The pet’s weight and general body condition will be examined. 

The vet will observe the animal’s posture and walk and inspect whether he is bright and alert. The physical exam looks for signs of muscle wasting, excessive shedding, and excessive oiliness or dryness of the coat. The pet’s eyes, ears, skin, nose, face, mouth, and teeth will be examined.

Wellness Screening Tests

As part of a complete pet wellness exam, the vet may recommend wellness screening tests. These tests include a complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis, biochemistry profile, and thyroid hormone testing. 

Your pet will not be able to tell you how he is feeling. A wellness test can ensure that the pet is in good health.

To know more about pet wellness, visit Kankakee Animal Hospital at our office in Kankakee, Illinois. You can call (815) 332-0600 today to schedule an appointment.

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