A cat with its ears downMaintaining your pet’s annual wellness examination is one of the most important things you can do for your pet. Wellness exams offer your veterinarian the chance to detect any subtle changes in your pet’s health, weight, muscle mass, dental health, and numerous other factors. As your pet ages, previous exams will act as a baseline to help determine the best approach to prevention-based care, as well as contribute to healthy aging.

But, there is more to a wellness visit than just the examination and diagnostics themselves; this is your chance as a pet owner to communicate what you observe every day. Your observations – from behavioral changes to increased accidents or noticeable anxiety – all contribute to the most thorough wellness exam possible. Your understanding of your pet goes a long way to increasing his quality of life and happiness.

Preparing for a Pet Wellness Exam

To help get the most out of your pet’s examination, there are steps you can take prior to his or her appointment. Keeping track of your pet’s background, health history, and daily habits contributes to the effectiveness of preventive care and gives your veterinary care team valuable information.

To prepare for your pet’s exam, please bring the following:

  • Background information, including whether your pet was adopted or a stray, where your pet was adopted from, and other insights you have about your pet (especially if this is the first time your pet has been seen by us)
  • Medical records or history, including vaccination records and preventives being used
  • Approximate or actual date of birth
  • List of all current medications
  • Known health conditions or illnesses, or history of such
  • Any behavioral issues or challenges you are experiencing with your pet
  • Information about his or her current diet, including treats
  • Stool sample (if requested)
  • Proper leash and collar or carrier
  • Your questions about any of the above issues or ways to enhance your pet’s overall health

At-Home Tips for Pet Wellness

There are also several practical and simple ways you can incorporate preventive care into your pet’s at-home routine.

  • Keep a pet health journal in the kitchen, on your phone, or somewhere convenient, making note of any significant changes to appetite, energy level, or behavior (and bring these notes to your pet’s exam).
  • If your pet is anxious around strangers or new situations, try coupling his wellness exam with grooming or any other need to avoid multiple trips.
  • Feed your pet a nutrient-rich diet at the recommended serving size, and if you are in doubt, please contact us for a nutritional consultation.
  • Keep your pet active through daily exercise, which helps prevent disease and obesity.
  • Pay attention and take time out for petting, brushing, and other loving acts, which go a long way in keeping your pet at optimal health (and contentment!).

For more tips on preventive care, information about our preventive care plans for cats and dogs, and how to prepare for your pet’s wellness exam, the Pet Experts are more than happy to be of service. We look forward to speaking with you.