Just thinking of the word maintenance conjures up either a slew of unfinished projects, or regular items on the “to-do” list that you haven’t done yet – and aren’t looking forward to. In fact, our lives can be metered out by tedious chores, all in the name of maintaining the look, the lawn, or the checkbook.
But what about pet wellness? It’s so tempting to put off routine appointments if a pet appears healthy, but we know better. Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services treats pets in need of emergency or critical care, and it’s all too common to see an ailment that could have been prevented – or caught earlier– with regular pet wellness care.
We know you love your pet and know him or her better than anyone. Because of this devotion, you may think that symptoms associated with an illness or injury will be obvious to you, but think again. Your pet is hard-wired to mask any sign of weakness, making it close to impossible to detect that your pet actually needs medical care.
We’re here to tell you that by investing in your pet’s annual or twice yearly appointment can save you a great deal of money, time, and heartache in the long run.
What We Mean by Pet Wellness
We see it all the time, unfortunately… Most pet owners will only address an obvious illness or injury that often results in costly emergency care (not to mention physical and emotional strife). Instead, visiting your family veterinarian regularly will allow your pet’s team to get to the bottom of any developing condition. This saves the need for emergency visits later on, and by catching illness early you are increasing the odds of a better prognosis.
What to Expect
Pet wellness visits can vary based on your pet’s age, lifestyle, and overall physical health. Generally speaking, though, you can expect the following to occur at your pet’s exam:
- Nose-to-tail physical examination
- Parasite prevention
- Nutritional assessment
- Diet recommendations
- Behavioral issues
- Special needs
- Diagnostics (urine or stool sample, blood count, etc.)
A Word on Preventable Illness
A major component of pet wellness is good dental hygiene. Your pet’s veterinarian will recommend that you brush your pet’s teeth regularly, and sign on for routine professional cleanings under general anesthesia. Because of the connection between irreversible systemic illness and poor dental care, try to introduce your pet to the idea of brushing as soon as possible.
The Big Picture
We understand that signing on for regular pet wellness exams is often inhibited by financial concerns. Since being proactive helps to prevent life-saving emergency care down the road, consider these tips:
- Shop around for pet insurance, and make sure your veterinarian/clinic/hospital accepts it
- Put some money aside each paycheck and only use that money when your pet’s appointment is due
- Research a low interest credit card that you only use in the case of pet wellness exams or other medical needs