Getting the Most out of Your Pet Wellness Exam

Handshake between dog and veterinarian handAlthough pet wellness exams are vital to your furry friend’s health, they are often viewed only as a time to update vaccines, have lab work done, or get other baseline medical tests out of the way. Unfortunately, this limited view can let an important opportunity pass by – that is, the chance to discuss your pet’s health in detail and ask questions that may prove to be lifesavers or health-changers for your friend.

When considering your pet’s wellness exams, we think you should feel empowered to discuss anything we might have noticed in your pet’s behavior, appearance, diet, or disposition. For example, have you noticed that Spot doesn’t seem to be interested in playtime like he used to be? Has Mittens been hiding more? Have “accidents” increased around the house?

Developing a strong rapport with your team at Rocklin Ranch is encouraged. By establishing an ongoing relationship with you and your pet, we are better able to diagnose, screen, and generally improve the well-being of your best friend. Before you come in for an exam, keep in mind that there are some important considerations to note, prior to bringing your pet in. This homework will help create the optimal exam and allow your pet to get the most out of the visit.

Your Pet’s Physical Health

It’s likely that during the course of your pet’s life, you will notice physical changes. These changes will become more common through the years although many senior pets can stay quite healthy and active.

Physical aspects of your pet’s health to note include:

  • Appetite changes and preferences
  • Coat and skin condition – has his or her fur become dull or dry? Have you noticed increased dander or scratching?
  • Activity level – has there been a decrease in play time or interest in exercise?
  • Changes in stool or increased urination
  • Increased vomiting or diarrhea
  • Noticeable changes in hearing or vision
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Physical sensitivity or discomfort
  • Nose or eye discharge
  • Rubbing or scratching of ears or mouth
  • Changes in breath odor and oral health
  • Behavioral and Social Pet Wellness

    Along with your pet’s overall physical condition, you will want to communicate any of the following changes as well:

  • Increased aggression, agitation, or stress-states
  • Sudden change in temperament
  • Separation anxiety – often marked by an increase in chewing, howling, accidents, and other destructive behaviors
  • Tendency to isolate or hide
  • Pet Travel and Other Considerations

    If you have plans for travel that include your pet, it is advised to discuss your travel destination, planned activities, and means of transportation with your veterinarian. Changes in vaccine or preventative protocols might be required, as well as other safety precautions to help you and your pet have a wonderful time.

    Other factors that are worth communicating during your friend’s wellness exam include any major changes that are pending, such as a residential move or the birth of a child. Significant life changes, while certainly presenting obstacles for us, can have a strong impact on your pet’s well-being.

    Remember, prevention is key! To maximize the value of your visit to Rocklin Ranch, come prepared with a list of questions or observations about your pet. If you have a problem or concern, we will do our best to find a solution to keep your pet happy, healthy, and tail-wagging for years to come.