Are you one of the many pet owners who treat their little creatures just like full-fledged human family members, even though your mostly diminutive joy givers don’t have thumbs and can’t open up a bank account? Are your pets so important to you that you take them to see a veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up? If so, then you are a fantastic master. If not, then you still could be a fantastic master if you did so.
You may not even realize an annual visit to a vet was necessary. The fact is, nearly one-third of all pet owners neglect taking their pets in for an annual exam, even though this could save their life, much less improve their quality of life.
The average annual cost for pet owners to take their pets to the vet for an exam an shots is a mere $288. Overall care for the typical pet is between $600-$900 a year, medical care included. Look, your pet is not all that crazy about going to the vet anymore than you are dying to spend a few hundred bucks. But it is best for both of you in the long run.
Following are 5 reasons it is essential for you to take your pet to the vet for a check-up at least once a year.
Because our pets age more quickly than we do, they go through growing and aging phases affecting their bodies and minds rapidly. As most people know, one human year is equal to 7 dog years. In the time it take a human baby to get through the Terrible Two’s, your dog, or pet, is graduating from college. Because of the rapidity of growth, it may be harder to tell if your pet has something wrong. Most know that a dry nose may mean an illness. But the nose does not always reveal what is going on internally, and your pet has few verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate these discomforts and maladies.
This ties into the first entry, but is not entirely the same. Veterinarians love animals and want to see their friendly furry visitors at least once a year to know, in part, that they are helping you maintain a high quality of life for your animal. A healthy pet is active, eats well, gets love and attention, is able to interact with like animals, and fulfills their expected life span. A vet will help you understand more how to achieve this for them, give you pointers on the particular needs of your animal to keep them happy and healthy, and will work with you on diet, exercise, and the kind of attention they need so they are not mopey, overweight, ignored, or depressed. Yes, animals can get depressed.
Annual exams are also linked to the above – notice a theme? Annual exams will help the vet catch anything wrong in your animal. As mentioned above, your pet has limited ways it can tell you that something is wrong with them. If you cannot see any obvious evidence on the outside, it does not mean that something wrong is developing, or has developed, on the inside. A comprehensive exam will include a head-to-tail examination of the total well-being of your pet. Veterinarians will examine their 12 organs, look for parasites, developmental problems, unseen infections, and discuss with you their appetite, diet, weight, exercise levels, and help you under their aging process so you know what foods to feed them.
Additionally, taking your pet to the vet will allow them to perform dental check-ups, perform blood tests, diagnostic tests, provide vaccinations if needed, and surgery if warranted. Do not underestimate the value of a dental exam and cleaning. This is essential not just for your dog’s breath, but for their total health welfare. In fact, poor dental care on a pet may lead to heart and lung disease. In other words, you may be doing everything right with your pet except dental care and still they could contract some kind of disease in these two major organs. Diagnostic results are often returned in-house, so you may know immediately if there are blood issues or more. Finally, if your animal needs surgery, your vet is usually able to perform it quickly without having to schedule something weeks out.
Many vets now offer grooming and boarding services. As was mentioned above, pets usually don’t like going to the doctor anymore than kids do. But, if they become familiar with your vet and his or her staff, the anxiety they may have experienced usually diminishes. More and more vets are becoming full-service pet providers with first rate grooming professionals on staff. If you need to board your pet they will at least be comfortable with the environment, the smells, the staff, and know what to expect when they visit. You want your pet to feel comfortable and not stressed out, so bringing them to the vet that takes care of their health, grooming, and temporary residential needs will only make it best for all.
You love your pet and want it to live a full, happy, and healthy life. Taking your pet to the vet at least once a year will help make this happen. Many vets, like those at Catawba Animal Clinic, now offer full services, such as dental care, grooming, and boarding, in addition to their regular medical services. Regardless, for an average of a mere $288 a year, you could keep your pet a vibrant part of the family for the typical expected years of its life.