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Why Take Your Pet to the Vet?

WHY TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VET FOR A CHECK-UP?

Depending on the age or breed of your pet, the regularity of pet check-ups may differ. For example, a kitten or puppy below one year old should be brought in for vaccines every three to four weeks until about sixteen weeks. After sixteen weeks, this can extend to every two to three months. Once your little one reaches that one year mark, between ages one and seven, a yearly checkup will suffice. Vets suggest twice-yearly check-ups for pets aged older than seven. Of course, these numbers may differ depending on your specific pet and recommendations from the vet, but regardless your pet should not be seeing a vet any less than recommended.[1]

Vet check-ups may entail vaccinations; urine tests; checking digestion; coughing, wheezing, sneezing, throat or nose discharge; examination of coat and skin for any hair loss, lumps, rashes, discoloration or unusual spotting; ensuring the pet has good dental health, including teeth, tongue, and breath; checking for ticks, fleas, or parasites; as well as ensuring your cat is getting the right food and exercise.[2]

To some people, a check-up at the vet may seem pointless. If everything appears to be going well with my pet, why waste time, money, and energy? However, vet check ups are essential to the health of your pet for a variety of reasons.

PREVENTATIVE CARE IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR PET

It’s more likely for a vet to pick up on any possible disease or worries for your pet if they’re getting that monthly or yearly checkup than if they’re only going into the vet when absolutely necessary.[3] Think about it this way: if your animal is experiencing an issue within that may not be clear from the outside, a certified vet can pick up on this issue early on and minimize any harm that might come to your pet. Even so, won’t you sleep better at night knowing for sure that there is nothing wrong with your pet?

VACCINATIONS SHOULD BE KEPT UP TO DATE

Vaccinations keep pets protected from any possible diseases, as well as ensuring that other pets in the house are safe.[4] Routine check-ups with the vet will allow the vet to make sure your pet is up to date with all vaccinations. Of course, the speculation of “over-vaccinating pets” has concerned many pet owners, and driven them to stop vaccinations altogether. In fact, the theme for World Vet Day 2016 surrounded vaccinations, and aimed to spread awareness of the necessity of vaccinating pets.[5] Benefits that can come from vaccinating your pets include the assurance that your pet is safe from contagious and, in some cases, deadly diseases. Risks associated with vaccinations do include sarcomas, or a tumor growth, that may occur in cats.[6] However, this adverse reaction is extremely rare, and recent improvements in vaccination technology have ensured that this worst-case scenario is even less likely. Because of this, it is absolutely essential for pets to receive a routinely check-up with the vet in order to stay updated with vaccinations.

WHAT TO ASK YOUR VET AT A CHECK-UP

Again, whether your pet is a baby or an adult, check-ups are essential. For a first check-up with a newborn animal, you may want to come prepared. Bring a list of questions regarding food brands or any treats that you may feed your pet, as well as the best portion sizes and amounts, to ensure that your pet is getting the right nutrition. Make sure to document any recent concerns or strange behavior you notice within your pet. Be sure to contact your vet ahead of time to determine if you will need to prepare anything else. The same protocol applies for a senior wellness check-up, when bringing an older pet into the vet. During these wellness check-ups, screenings that include a physical examination, blood chemistry test, x-rays, and a variety of further testing may be done to ensure the health of your pet. Additional questions to prepare for a senior wellness check-up may include a diet or supplement review as well as making sure your pet is getting the correct amount of exercise.

From this list, it should be obvious that check-ups are crucial to the overall well being of your pet, and it is important to know what to do when scheduling and attending a veterinary visit. Keep in mind the age of your pet, any recent or long standing health issues, and do your best to monitor the behavior of your cat to make sure that everything is okay. A trained veterinarian will always put the well-being of your pet first, and you should too.

  1. Formichelli, Linda. “How Often Should Your Pet See a Veterinarian?” WebMD, WebMD, pets.webmd.com/features/your-pet-veterinarian#1.

  2. Browne, Clayton. “What Does a Vet Do During a Routine Checkup?” Chron.com, 9 Nov. 2016, work.chron.com/vet-during-routine-checkup-10729.html.

  3. Cornelius, Sadie. “The Importance Of An Annual Dog Check Up.” CanineJournal.com, CanineJournal.com, 21 Feb. 2017, www.caninejournal.com/annual-dog-check-up/.

  4. “The Importance of Routine Vet Visits – 1800PetMeds®.” Anxiety Medications for Dogs & Cats- 1800PetMeds, www.1800petmeds.com/education/importance-routine-vet-visits-23.htm.

  5. “World Animal Vaccination Day 2016 – Press Release.” WVA Home, www.worldvet.org/news.php?item=279.

  6. Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time, www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/vaccinations.aspx.

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For the Love of Cats is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of cats in need in our community.

Registered charity number : 1234500

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