5 Preventative Health Exams You Don’t Want to Skip

You love your dogs and you want to make sure they are happy and healthy.

Though pet care can be costly, there are several wellness plans available along with pet insurance to help mitigate the costs. That being said, here are some annual exams and tests you should think twice about before skipping.

Annual Wellness Exam

Depending on where you take your dog, an annual wellness exam will consist of a cocktail of tests and screenings. Generally speaking, this exam should check for intestinal parasites, ensure that your dog is up to date on all shots, address the need for flea and tick medication and access your dog’s overall physical fitness. This exam may also include checking your pet’s heart, lungs, ears, eyes and skin for any irregularities.

Geriatric Screening

If your beloved animal is getting a little long in the tooth, annual or semi-annual geriatric screenings can ensure that your pet is healthy, pain free and in good shape to live out the rest of his days. These exams typically include all of the standard screenings of a traditional wellness exam but may also include blood tests to assess if your animal exhibits signs of kidney disease, diabetes and other complications that can arise as your animal matures.

Dental Check-Up

Dental screenings may or may not be a part of your annual wellness exam. If it is not, you may consider asking your vet to do one as a dog’s dental health is extremely important throughout its life, particularly as your dog gets older and may start losing teeth or experiencing severe tooth decay.

Heartworm Testing

Recommended annually, heartworm testing is extremely important particularly for animals who play outside or at dog parks frequently. Heartworm medication taken during the spring and summer months, or year-round, is an excellent way to prevent heartworm, so be sure to refill this medication once you’ve run out.

Deworming for New Puppies

If you’ve recently adopted a new puppy, be sure to ask the shelter, breeder or previous owner for a deworming record. Puppies can be “wormed” after just 2-3 weeks and this is extremely important for their health as worms can quickly cause a variety of health problems including respiratory issues, weight loss, diarrhea and vomiting.

Note: just like humans, a good diet and regular exercise are key to a healthy and happy animal. Feeding your dog a good diet and making sure he is walked regularly will do wonders for his health and ensure that his wellness exams yield a clean bill of health.

Meet the Author: Hope Gately

Hope Gately is a haphazard outdoors enthusiast. She summits Colorado 14ners, hikes the backcountry, canyoneers, and climbs with the best of 'em. The best part about her travels is that her loyal Blue Pit Bull, Indy, is by her side at every step!

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