Preventive Care

Wellness Exams

A regular wellness exam is vital to maintaining your pet’s health. During a wellness exam, we check current vital signs, collect a thorough history, and perform a head-to-tail physical exam. This allows us to work with you to make a plan to keep your pet healthy for a lifetime.

We generally recommend that dogs and cats under 7 years of age see their veterinarian at least annually, and pets over 7 years of age should see their veterinarian every 6 months.

Many pet owners may wonder why their pet needs to see the veterinarian so often, especially if their pet has been seen for various illnesses throughout the year. There are two important reasons for this:

  1. Our pets are very good at hiding illness and pain. Issues like dental pain, arthritis, and vision loss (among many others) may not be apparent at home, but can be detected during a thorough physical exam.
  2. A regular wellness exam allows your veterinarian the opportunity to discuss many issues that may not be addressed at sick visits. Topics covered will include:
  • At-home dental care
  • Options for heartworm, flea and tick prevention
  • Behavior or training issues
  • Diet
  • Weight management

A regular wellness exam is also the time to discuss which vaccines may be appropriate for your pet according to his or her lifestyle and exposure to disease. We follow the vaccine recommendations of the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners.