The Power Of Prevention: Making Pet Wellness Exams A Priority

pet wellness

Most of us are aware of the power of prevention and early detection when it comes to human medicine and dentistry. We go to the dentist for our cleanings and examinations every 6 months, and see our physicians yearly for physical checkups, blood work, and other screenings. And although these proceedings aren’t something most of us look forward to, we know it’s an important part of our ongoing health and wellness.

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is just as appropriate when it comes to pet wellness. Besides giving us the chance to get to know you and your pet, the annual (or bi-annual) pet wellness exam is aimed at catching any health problems that may be developing answering your questions and concerns.


After talking you through a thorough health history of your pet, your veterinarian will perform a complete nose-to-tail physical exam. Similar to a human wellness check, during this exam we look at your pet’s ears, eyes, mouth, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system, as well as checking your pet’s heart and lungs for abnormalities, and make recommendations for follow up diagnostics as needed.

Weight And Nutrition

Assessing your pet’s weight and nutritional needs are crucial in preventing and treating the problems associated with obesity, or with sudden changes in weight. Your veterinarian will work closely with you to achieve and maintain an optimal weight and nutrition plan for your pet.

Dental Health

85% of dogs and cats show some signs of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. If left untreated, dental disease can lead to serious problems with the heart, kidney, and lungs, not to mention causing significant pain for your pet. Following your veterinarian’s recommendations for home and professional dental care is essential to your pet’s overall health.

Disease and Parasite Prevention

Annual heartworm testing and intestinal parasite screenings are important for the detection of illness in your pet and the prevention of zoonotic diseases (transmissible to people). Vaccinations and parasite preventive medications are important components of your pet’s ongoing wellness.

Health Baseline

Seeing your pet’s sweet face and getting to know their personality is one of our favorite parts of the pet wellness examination, but even more important is the establishment of a health baseline. Knowing your pet’s “normals” through examination and testing is crucial in helping us to detect any change in your pet’s body or behavior that may indicate health concerns.

The Importance Of Pet Wellness

Not only do pets age much more quickly than humans, they are genetically wired to hide signs of illness and injury. Even if your pet is an expert at hiding symptoms from you, with regular checkups and screening, we can slow or stop many health problems before they become serious.

Your pet’s health is our top priority at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital, and your questions and concerns to help guide your visits with us. We hope to see you and your pet soon!