There is nothing you can do that will better ensure your pet’s good health and longevity than to maintain a regular schedule of preventive care exams. Not only do these exams help protect your pet’s health, they help protect your financial well-being also. Allowing us the opportunity to catch issues while they are still at their earliest and most treatable is an obvious benefit, but less apparent is that it simply costs less to prevent disease rather than treat it. For example, take the cost of a monthly heartworm preventive versus the $1,000 or more it would cost to treat an infected dog. And for a cat, the heartworm prevention is priceless since there are no treatments for feline infection.
The appropriate schedule for your pet depends on a variety of factors including current health status, age and breed. A younger pet will need to be seen more frequently than an adult pet, and a senior pet will need to be seen more often than an active adult pet. Since pets age at a faster rate than we do, remember that if they only see us once a year that is about the equivalent of you not seeing your primary care physician for about seven years. How much could change in your health status in seven years? This is the reason we recommend more frequent visits for pets during their major growth years (puppies and kittens) as well as during their declining ones. The differences in their metabolisms in comparison to ours means that issues can go from small to large in a very short timespan. The more often we see your pet, the better our overall knowledge of what is “normal” for your pet is going to be and the better our chances of catching those subtle initial symptoms of disease. Due to their evolution, pets are conditioned to hide symptoms of disease and “put their best paws forward.” Setting up and maintaining a regular preventive exam schedule will provide us the baseline necessary to catch when something is “off” with your pet and will help us know when additional testing or concern is required.
Regular preventive care helps protect your pet’s good health and gives your pet a “voice” to let us know when something is wrong. Since your pet can’t tell you when he feels poorly and is conditioned to hide symptoms, these exams are crucial to ensure that your pet enjoys the highest quality and longest possible time with you. Give yourself the peace of mind that comes with regularly scheduled preventive care exams for your pet.