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 Sudden shifts in temperament, such as a social cat that becomes quite withdrawn, or unexpected repetitive actions, like a dog that behinds pawing their ear incessantly, can actually be a sign of an underlying health condition.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!