Like people, your pets need their annual check-ups too! Check-ups are a way to recognize and prevent any illnesses your pet might have or might have in the future.

In this check-up, you should expect to go over a lot of things. Here are some health aspects your veterinarian will most likely ask about:

· When were your pets’ last vaccines? Do they need to be updated?

· Does your pet need any blood work done?

· Does your pet have any parasites?

· What is the home dental routine for your pet?

· What is their exercise like? (This includes changes in their ability to exercise and what type of exercise they get).

· What is their diet like? (This can be what they eat, appetite or weight changes, and any treats/supplements they are given).

· How is their breathing? (Relating to their coughing, sneezing, or any shortness of breath).

The vet will also check your pet externally from head to tail, looking at mouth, ears, eyes, coat, legs, and feet. Internally, they will check out their stomach, lungs, heart, and gastrointestinal tract.

If your pet is not neutered or spayed, this is also the time to talk to your veterinarian about that. Controlling the pet population, especially in your own home, is vital. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters, help protect against some serious health problems, and may reduce many of the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct.”

· Unwanted litters are often given to animal shelters, and many of them will be forced to spend an incredibly long time in a shelter.

· By spaying and neutering early on, you help prevent serious health problems such as uterine infections and breast cancer in females and prostatic hyperplasia and testicular cancer in males.

· Because of the desire to mate, pets will often be aggressive around other animals and even run away from home in attempts to mate. By removing their reproductive organs, you lower of the chances of aggression and remove female heat cycles.

Experts say that pets over ten years old should get tested and have check-ups at least twice a year. Until then, it is fine for them to get a checkup once a year. Of course if your pet is showing any signs of illness you should take them to the vet or make an appointment immediately.

Getting to know the veterinarian, before you make an appointment, is important. It’s better that your pet stay with the same vet, so making sure they are reliable, kind, and fit with your schedule is important. Staying with the same person will also make your pet more comfortable around them.

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