6 Important Questions To Ask At Your Pet’s Next Vet Checkup

cat at vet checkup

As the kids head back to school, they’re not the only ones that should have an annual checkup. To keep your pet in good health for years to come, he or she needs a vet checkup at least once a year. The financial benefits alone of yearly checkups are staggering. According to Petplan, the average cost of emergency medical care for a dog or cat is between $800 to $1500. We can’t stress the importance of annual checkups enough, but it’s important to know what to expect and also what questions to ask to make the most of your next checkup. We at Cherrelyn Animal Hospital have created a list of questions to keep in mind. 

1. Is His or Her Weight Healthy? 

The yearly vet checkup is a perfect time to discuss your pet’s weight. Whether your pet is on the slightly leaner or chubbier side, it’s important to consult a veterinarian’s perspective instead of eyeballing if your pet is in a healthy weight range. If your pet could benefit from a change in exercise or diet routine, your vet is the one to make the proper suggestions. Rather than rely on dog blogs that suggest trendy pet food swaps for information, your vet can answer definitively whether switching pet food brands will help. 

Also, it can be stressful to change your pet’s routine on both you and your beloved animal. Not only that, changing your pet’s food or treats many times can upset their digestive system and cause stomach upset so before you try a change, ask your vet first. They can give you the proper recommendations and also any potential behavior changes from your pet during the transition period to give you peace of mind. This question can significantly improve your pet’s quality of life for years to come and also prevent future more costly health problems, such as heart disease or joint stress from excess weight, from emerging later on. 

2. Is His or Her Behavior Normal? 

If your pet’s behavior has changed recently, even if it seems inconsequential, bring it up to your vet–and you definitely don’t have to wait for the annual checkup to do so. Sudden shifts in temperament, such as a social cat that becomes quite withdrawn, or unexpected repetitive actions, like a dog that behinds pawing their ear incessantly, can actually be a sign of an underlying health condition. On the flip side, a vet who has seen a vast array of other pets with different personalities can reassure you in the event it’s just a quirk. 

3. Is This Lump Okay? 

Similar to the behavior question, if you notice an unexpected mark on your pet’s skin that doesn’t seem to have an external cause, like a scratch, ask your vet to check it out. You never know when something that seems inconsequential to you might actually need attention.

4. Should My Pet Have Blood or Urine Tests Done at Their Vet Checkup? 

If your vet suspects cause for further internal medicine inspections, having blood and urine lab work done can tell you more concretely what the status of your pet’s health is. Behavior and appearance are good indicators of health but they aren’t definitive either. 

5. Can My Pet Have a Rectal Exam? 

Requesting a rectal exam for your pet during their vet checkup can be a good preventative measure against gastrointestinal illnesses or prostate cancers. 

6. Which Vaccines Does My Pet Need? 

Keep your pet’s vaccines up to date. In the event that you need to travel, this eases a lot of the headache when you need to do just that. Also, a vet will likely be up to date regarding any potential animal illness outbreaks in the area and can alert you to what protections your pet needs.

 
It’s important to remember that your pet can’t always tell you when they’re not feeling well so before they are in a painful or dangerous situation, keep them healthy with an annual vet checkup. Our trusted team at Cherrelyn Animal Hospital have been serving pets with top of the line care and exceptional equipment and training for over 60 years. We love to see the pets in our care happy and healthy and we go the extra mile to do just that. Contact us today to schedule a visit!

Summer Health for Pets: Top Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe This Summer

Our precious pets enjoy having fun in the sun as much as we do, which is why we have to take the summer health of our pets seriously. If you are fond of taking your dogs on walks or giving your cat more time to wander outdoors, their wagging tails are sure signs of their warm weather excitement! Here are some tips to make sure that your pets are as healthy as they are happy this summer. 

Familiarize Yourself With the Warning Symptoms of Overheating 

As temperatures soar, our pets risk overheating. Some of the symptoms to keep your eyes peeled for include dry or very red gums, heavy panting, increased heart rate, drooling, or seeming weak and fatigued. In the event that your pet faints, has a seizure, bloody diarrhea or vomit, or their body temperature is above 104 degrees (for dogs) or 102.5 degrees (for cats), they are having a heat stroke. Relocate them to a cooler area, put a damp towel over them (not cold water!), and bring them to an animal hospital ASAP!

Prevent Dehydration 

Part of being careful about your pet’s health this summer is making sure he drinks enough. Though your dog may seem ready for several rounds of fetch, when the weather is too hot or humid, carry a water bottle and prepare bowls of clean water for them so they can refresh when needed. 

Keep Your Pet’s Outdoor Environment Safe 

Consider walking your dog in the morning or evening when the asphalt is cooler and less likely to sting their paw pads. Purchasing some pet boots can offer additional paw protection. Keep your pet away from potential antifreeze car leaks, which can be fatal if ingested.

When playing outside, find a spot where there is some shade so you and your pet have a place to cool off. Though some dogs are avid swimmers, not all pets are so capable so supervise closely when around an outdoor pool. If you are fond of boating or other water activities, consider investing in an animal life vest.

Common summer celebrations like Fourth of July fireworks or barbecues have many potential dangers for pets, such as being scared off by loud sounds or ingesting something poisonous, so keep fire products and unsafe foods away. 

Keep Your Pet’s Indoor Environment Safe, As Well

Summer health and safety precautions for pets aren’t just relevant to time spent outdoors. When indoors, many cats and dogs enjoy perching on a windowsill to enjoy the sunlight. However, there’s a risk of injury if they accidentally fall! Check that your windows have their screens in or are properly secured. And as a rule of thumb, never leave your animal in a parked vehicle because scorching temperatures put them at high risk of heat stroke.

Take Care of Their Fur 

Some pet owners assume shaving their furry friends will help them cool off more easily. However, this actually increases the risk of overheating and sunburn so avoid the shears! Ask your vet to recommend an animal safe sunscreen to prevent burning. And as your pet is outside more, make sure to rinse off any possible chlorine or animal safe insect repellent they may be exposed to. 

Visit the Vet for a Check-Up: An Important Piece of Summer Health for Pets!

Schedule a visit to the vet so your pet can be protected against the risk of tapeworm and other illnesses, which are more easily transmittable in the summer as your pet is exposed to more ticks and mosquitoes in the outdoors. 


Dogs and cats can have a fun-filled summer but they can also experience a host of unwanted dangers or injuries. If you want to keep your pet healthy this summer, schedule a visit with Cherrelyn Animal Hospital today. We’ll make sure that they receive the most attentive and compassionate care, backed by over six decades of experience!

How To Welcome Your New Cat To Your Home

New Cat

When you adopt or bring home a cat, you’re probably full of excitement for what’s ahead – cuddles, playtime, and lots of petting. But before you get ahead of yourself, we’ll give you a gentle reminder that your new pet will need some time to adapt to the new environment of your home. In order to reduce stress on your new cat and facilitate his or her adjustment, we’ve compiled some quick tips to cat-prep your home.

Select A Small, Quiet Room For Your Cat

Chances are that your cat has been living in a shelter cubby or some other type of confined space. So, naturally, he or she might be overwhelmed and intimidated by the sudden exposure to your entire home. Picking a place like a bedroom or even a bathroom is a great place for him to start calling “home.”

Furnish The Room With A Litter Box, Food, And Water

Add approximately two inches of litter to a litter box and set it in a corner. This reduces the chance of any litter box problems. Then set up a water and food bowl away from the litter box. We recommend welcoming your pet with some canned wet food, which will help to stimulate his appetite. By adding these basic amenities to the room, your cat will know where to go when he needs to use any of these items.

Give Your Cat Some Hiding Places

Cats love hiding themselves away in their own little safe haven. If your new cat came in a carrier, leave it available for him in his room. Many shelters will include the cat’s own blanket, which will feel and smell familiar to him. You could also give your cat the simple and beloved cardboard box, which he is sure to enjoy. Make sure that it is large enough for him or her to turn around in. No matter what type of hiding place you give him, just be sure to situate it in a place where your cat can still see the door. This reduces the chances that someone will startle him and will help him to feel safe.

Include A Scratching Post

Cats need to wear down their claws by scratching on things. If you want to do your furniture and floors a favor, we recommend adding a scratching post for your cat. Options range from inexpensive corrugated cardboard to vertical posts that encourage your cat to stretch.

Go At Your New Cat’s Pace

When the exciting first day finally arrives, we cannot stress this tip enough. Do not be alarmed if your new feline is hiding, eating or drinking less, or is avoidant. He is simply adjusting to a new environment (and a new family). Give him or her time to explore, and try to control your urge to spend all of your time with your new pet!

Keep in mind, however, that there are some causes for concern. A study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery detailed causes and signs of stress in cats. If your cat has not been eating for several days, is overgrooming, urine marking, or demonstrating other behavioral abnormalities, we recommend contacting your veterinarian.

Like our own annual checkups with our doctors, all cats will benefit from receiving dedicated attention from a professional. More likely than not, your cat may need to receive additional vaccines and immunizations. Therefore, within the week of your cat’s arrival, be sure to schedule an appointment with a trusted veterinary clinic, like Cherrelyn Animal Hospital, to ensure the health of your new pet!