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Owning a pet takes a lot of love, care, and responsibility. Exercise, a healthy diet, and lots of love and attention are all very important aspects of pet ownership. It’s also vital to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy through routine wellness visits with your vet. During an annual wellness check, your vet will conduct a full examination of your pet and may even be able to catch signs of illness or chronic issues before they impact your pet’s lifestyle.

How Often Do Pets Require Exams?

Younger pets require exams every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age, while pets under the age of 10 (that have not yet shown symptoms of chronic illness) can get by with visits once per year. Older dogs and cats may require more frequent exams, which typically are scheduled twice per year.

What Happens During a Yearly Checkup?

The first thing your veterinarian will typically do is ask you about your pet. Most questions involve diet, how often your pet drinks water, sudden loss or gaining of weight, frequent scratching or overgrooming, or noticeable limits in range of motion. Your vet may also ask about any signs of more serious issues such as lumps or bumps, coughing or wheezing, irregular stool or diarrhea, and other symptoms.

Next, your veterinarian will check your pet’s vital signs. These include weight, temperature, pulse, respiration, teeth and gum check, and a peek in its ears, eyes, and nose. These vital signs are good indicators of your pet’s overall health and your vet may make recommendations for medication or further testing if any anomalies are found. 

Yearly exams are also a great time to ensure your pet is up-to-date with all of its vaccinations. Rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, and other core vaccinations are typically required each year. Your vet will review your pet’s records to ensure they remain on a proper vaccination schedule.

Other Screenings Your Vet May Recommend

Sometimes it’s a good idea for your vet to examine your pet’s urine, stool, blood, or even abdomen via X-Rays. These screenings are able to detect heartworms or intestinal parasites, blood cell count, and other issues that may be difficult to detect during a typical exam.

Scheduling an Annual Exam

It’s good practice to check in with your veterinarian if you can’t remember the last time you and your pet came in for a checkup. We’ll help ensure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and in perfect health. Click here to book an appointment at Oceanside Veterinary Clinic.

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