If only dogs and cats could talk. Then they could tell us if they are feeling well or not. But, of course, this is not the case. In fact, through instinct, dogs and cats are naturally wired to hide any symptoms of disease or discomfort from us. This is one of the main reasons why it’s important to take your pet to the veterinarian for annual checkups.

When Should Annual Checkups Begin?

As most of us know, pets age at a faster rate than humans, typically 6-7 times faster. And, like humans, pets need to have checkups more regularly to monitor conditions that can come with aging. Annual checkups starting at age 1 give veterinarians the chance to catch potential issues before they become bigger problems. When spotting and resolving issues early, your pet can be treated less expensively and with a greater success rate.

A Typical Checkup

One of the best ways for a vet to track your pet’s health is to compare his current condition with that of his previous visit. During the checkup, you will want to report any changes in your pet’s behavior such as loss of appetite, coughing, or loose stools.

Here is what you can expect at your pet’s annual examination:

  • Checking weight, heart rate and temperature
  • Inspecting skin, eyes, ears, and coat
  • Listening to heart and lungs
  • Palpating vital organs such as liver and kidneys
  • Looking at teeth and gums

Preventive Measures

When going through the examination checklist, your vet is searching for signs of possible disease and discomfort. But yearly checkups are also essential in addressing common concerns like heartworm and ticks. As part of National Heartworm Awareness Month, Anasazi Animal Clinic is offering a 10% discount on flea, tick, and heartworm prevention through the end of April. So, even if your pet is not due for an annual exam, now is still a good time to come in and protect him from these pesky and potentially dangerous pests. Your pet may also be due for vaccinations or blood work during his visit. Your veterinarian will discuss this with you and answer your questions about why these are important.

Your Pet Will Thank You

When you look at your dog or cat, it is easy to think they are doing just fine. But, the only way to know for sure is to take good care of them and include a yearly visit to the veterinarian. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about annual exams, contact us here at Anasazi Animal Clinic. We care for you pet as much as you do and are committed to helping him stay healthy.