The Foundation of Health and Longevity: Why Pet Wellness Care Matters
In the medical world, we often talk about how important early detection is through regular wellness examinations. This is also true in veterinary medicine, where we have shifted from addressing problems as they arise, to a modality that is vastly proactive and effective. This is done through regular pet wellness care.
Many pet owners ask us about the need for pet wellness, especially when their pets seem completely healthy and happy. And we are glad you ask. Pet wellness is an important preventive approach to your pet’s health that can keep them vibrant, feeling great, and healthy for years to come.
The Basics of Pet Wellness Care
Pet wellness care is modeled after preventive care for humans insofar as it gives us a deeper insight into your pet’s health and risk of disease. These annual nose-to-tail exams are critical in finding issues at their earliest stages for a better prognosis and cure.
Wellness exams for pets also address the individual pet and their lifestyle to better understand their need for certain vaccinations, proper nutrition and exercise, and a host of other needs that are specific to your pet.
Pet wellness exams commonly include:
- Annual examinations. These head-to-tail exams look for any visual problems that present on the body, as well as through diagnostic testing, such blood work, urinalysis, and imaging (when needed). From this exam, we gather information and record it to contrast against future workups. This is called a baseline of health.
- Healthy nutrition and weight management. Checking in on your pet’s weight is a must, as pet obesity leads to a variety of health problems and systemic disease. The wrong diet, or an imbalanced one, can also contribute to a decline in your pet’s health. We will assess your pet’s weight, diet and ideal weight, as well as offer nutritional support and recommendations for exercising your pet.
- Dental care and cleanings. Maintaining excellent dental health cannot be understated. Most pets over the age of 3 have the beginnings of periodontal disease which can lead to other serious systemic diseases. We can discuss how to brush your pet’s teeth as well as examine your pet’s teeth to see if dental cleaning is necessary.
- Vaccinations. Core vaccines prevent contagious illnesses from harming your pet as well as spreading to other animals in the community. Other vaccines may be recommended based on your dog’s exposure or risk, such as Leptospirosis.
- Parasite control. Parasite prevention is important to keep illnesses carried by fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworm from impacting your four-legged friend. Regular heartworm testing is the first step in setting your pet up on a monthly preventive. Fecal testing can determine the presence of internal parasites, as well. We can discuss the best options for parasite protection during the wellness exam.
- Behavior consult. This is another important aspect of wellness care. It encompasses all areas of your pet’s emotional well-being. Training needs, socialization problems, anxiety and phobia, and other common behavior problems that can indicate that something may be off with your pet’s overall well-being.
- Skin and paw condition. Ongoing grooming keeps your pet feeling good and free from problems associated with matting of the fur, long nails that snag, and so on. We will offer suggestions for at home grooming as well as how to safely trim your pet’s nails. If you are uncomfortable, that’s okay, we can do it for you during the exam.
- Eye and ear health. These senses are vitally important to your pet’s safety and wellness. Many pets, especially as they age, experience a decrease in vision or hearing. We will check both their visual acuity as well as look for problems in the ears, such as mites and yeast overgrowth.
These are some of the basics of excellent pet wellness care. Wellness care is also adjusted according to your pet’s stage of life. This means your puppy may require additional wellness services like spay/neuter or microchipping, while a senior pet will need an examination covering cognition and whether there is an existing mobility issue, such as arthritis.
If you would like more information on pet wellness care or to schedule an appointment for your best friend, please contact us.