Annual Wellness Visits: Are They Really That Important?

March 28, 2022


Keep Your Pet Healthy with Annual Visits

It’s recommended that each year you visit your primary care physician for an annual visit. During this visit your doctor checks your height, weight, and blood pressure and they will also listen to your heart and lungs. This wellness visit is key to helping you live a healthier life, and often times catching diseases and other health conditions in their early stages.

So just like you need an annual visit with your doctor, your pet needs an annual visit with their veterinarian. For many pet owners, an annual exam can seem like an unnecessary trip for a healthy pet that can cause un-needed anxiety and stress. In reality, taking your pet to the vet yearly will help keep them safe from parasites and heartworms, can help identify diseases that you may not be able to see, and keeps them up-to-date on all of the necessary vaccinations needed to keep them healthy.

For dogs, vaccinations against distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and adenovirus, as well as the bacteria Bordetella are considered core vaccinations. For cats, core vaccines are feline herpes virus, calicivirus and panleukopenia. Depending on location and lifestyle, other vaccinations may be strongly recommended including vaccinations against leptospirosis, canine influenza, Feline Leukemia virus and others. An annual appointment allows your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s lifestyle and habits and to develop the best vaccine protocol to protect them from illnesses.

Each parish has their own laws in place around required vaccinations that your pets must have, but one that is needed in each parish is the rabies vaccine. This crucial vaccine can be given during your pet’s annual exam, making it another reason that annual wellness visits can be so important.

Equally as important as vaccines is the actual physical examination. Your vet will likely ask you questions about how your pet has been doing, if there have been changes in their behavior, eating, or bathroom habits, or if you have noticed any abnormal physical changes. During the physical exam, your veterinarian will check for signs of disease that may not be readily apparent to you. They can address issues such as weight gain or loss, dental disease, skin health and discuss how to prevent certain problems such as periodontal disease or obesity.

From ensuring your pet is up-to-date on vaccines to checking for heartworms and possibly catching an illness in its early stage, an annual exam is vital to maintaining your pet’s health and preventing future issues. Our Community Clinic offers annual wellness visits, so make an appointment today and do your part in keeping your pet healthy.