Our furry friends age much faster than we do, and they often hide it when they’re not feeling well. Yearly checkups give your vet a better understanding of your pet’s overall health. Regular checkups also allow your vet to make better medical judgments when your pet is ill, catch diseases and problems before they become life-threatening, and keep your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations. All of these types of preventative care can help your pet live a longer, healthier life. 


Yearly Checkups Can Prevent Serious Problems

When your pet is sick, you want to know about it. But animals often hide signs of illness. Preventative care allows your vet to spot signs of illnesses and other problems early on. Wellness exams can expose parasites, diabetes, and even cancer. Catching problems early on means your pet can get treatment right away, which helps reduce their suffering. 

Giving your pet the care they need as soon as possible can also save you money. Extensive testing is often necessary when illnesses have had more time to attack a pet’s body, and prices for testing can range drastically. You may even be able to avoid a trip to the emergency room—emergency care for cats and dogs can range from $100 to upwards of $5,000.


The Importance of Vaccinations at Yearly Checkups

Vaccinations work with your pet’s immune system to help it fight off different diseases, some of which are deadly. Vaccinations, especially for puppies and kittens, can save lives as well as the cost of extensive treatments. Most pet vaccinations need yearly boosters, so it’s easy to get them out of the way if you schedule annual wellness exams.

Common Vaccinations for Cats

  • Rabies
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
  • Calicivirus
  • Panleukopenia
  • Leukemia

Common Vaccinations for Dogs:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus 
  • Parainfluenza
  • Adenovirus


What to Expect from Preventative Vet Care 

Every vet has a different method for handling checkups. However, there are several basics that every vet will always check. Here’s what to expect at a wellness exam:

  • Weight checks for excessive gain or losses
  • Checking eyes and ears for infections
  • Checking teeth for plaque and tartar buildup, damage, or decay
  • Listening to the heart and lungs – checking for abnormal sounds or rhythms
  • Examining skin, coats, and limbs- checking for parasites, lumps, inflammation sores, or lameness 

Your vet will also ask you questions about your pet’s food and water intake, bathroom habits, exercise, and energy levels. These questions allow your vet to understand your pet’s baseline for optimum health. They might also discuss spaying or neutering if you don’t plan to breed your pet.


What to Bring to Your Pet’s Checkup

Most of the time, you can just bring your pet. If you’re seeing a new vet, bring your pet’s vaccination records, or their adoption information if you have a new pet. If your pet has been ill, you might need a stool or urine sample. Calling ahead and asking your vet if they would like you to bring anything with you will make your visit go smoothly. 


The Best Preventative Veterinary Care in Gilbert

Big or small, healthy or sick, we want to help all animals live the best life possible. East Valley Animal Hospital is committed to giving your pet the highest level of care. A yearly appointment for preventative vet care is the best time to bring up any concerns you have about your pet. Please don’t wait until an illness becomes an emergency—let us help you now. Contact us today to book a wellness appointment for your beloved pet.



Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/16/22). Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash.