What is a Wellness Examination?
A wellness examination is a routine medical examination of a patient that is apparently healthy, as opposed to an examination of a patient that is ill. A wellness examination may also be called a ‘check-up’ or a ‘physical examination’. The focus of a wellness visit is the maintenance of optimal health.
How often should my dog have a wellness examination?
The answer to this question depends on your pet’s age and current health status. During early puppyhood wellness exams are recommended on a monthly basis, while for the average adult middle aged or geriatric dogs semi-annual examinations are recommended.
“It is a popular misconception that one calendar year equates to seven years in a dog’s life.”
Pets age at a faster rate than people. It is a popular misconception that one calendar year equates to seven years in a dog’s life. In actual fact, in one calendar year a dog may age the equivalent of four to fifteen years in a human’s life.
The reason for this dramatic difference is that puppies reach maturity very quickly, and are essentially adolescents or young adults by a year of age – thus they are considered to be the equivalent of a 15 year old by their first birthday. During the second year, the rate of aging slows down a little so that the average dog is considered to be the equivalent of a 24-25 year old by their second birthday.
After that, the rate of aging is estimated to be 4-5 dog years per calendar year, depending on the size and breed. Large breed dogs age relatively more quickly than small breed dogs. By the time your dog reaches its 6th birthday, it will be either middle-aged (if a small or medium breed dog) or geriatric (if a large breed dog).
Your veterinarian is in the best position to recommend how often your dog should have a wellness examination, based on its specific breed, health status and lifestyle.
With our veterinarians having a chance to perform a physical exam on your pet once a year, it will make it easier to do preventative testing and diagnostics on your pet and to be able to detect potential problems earlier and extend the life of your pet.