The Importance of Preventive Care

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Many dogs and cats, unfortunately, do not get the regular preventive care check-ups they need to stay healthy. Since our pets age so quickly, these are important to help catch illnesses and diseases early.

Preventive care, or a general wellness visit, is a proactive approach to healthcare. Just like regularly seeing your doctor, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can not only catch problems early but sometimes prevent them altogether. They are also important because your pet can’t tell you when it doesn’t feel well. Unlike humans, animals hide pain, so there may not be any outward signs that something is wrong. A regular physical examination by your veterinarian allow you to be sure that your pet is in good health.

Check-ups normally begin with a general health evaluation. This includes a thorough history about a pet’s breed, age, lifestyle, behavior, and diet. A complete physical examination is performed to check weight, temperature, pulse, eyes, mouth/gums and breathing. All of this information is gathered to assess whether a pet is healthy or sick.  Based on the findings, your veterinarian will provide you with recommendations for your pet’s nutrition, dental care, vaccinations, heartworm and flea/tick prevention, as well as recommendations specifically tailored to your pet’s health status and risk factors.

Puppies and kittens typically require frequent visits, usually every 3-4 weeks of age until they are at least 4 months of age. While adult pets should see a veterinarian at least semi-annually for an assessment of their preventive care needs. If it’s been too long since your pet has been in for a check-up, pick up the phone and make an appointment with your veterinarian.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Prevention is about peace of mind – the kind that comes from knowing that you are proactively monitoring the health and wellness of the pets you love.

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