5 Health Checks Your Pet Needs Every Year

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We all love our pets. There are countless Twitter accounts, YouTube videos, Instagram posts, and cutesy Facebook statuses all about how much we adore our companion animals. However, are we doing all we can to keep them happy and healthy?
Many people will skip out on taking their pets to the vet for a check-up, especially if their pet seems perfectly healthy. However, even if your dog or cat or other pet seems to be behaving normally, that does not mean nothing is wrong. Much like humans, things may be going on inside that we cannot see or detect. Furthermore, if they have some kind of discomfort or pain, they cannot verbally express it like we can. For this reason, we need to make sure our pets are okay even when they seem perfectly fine.
Here are just a few yearly check-ups your pet may need to maintain prime health:
 
1. Dental Exam
 
Just like in humans, dental hygiene and health is important for our pets. They use their teeth as much as we do to chew and eat. There can also potentially be hidden bacteria or pain present that we cannot detect in our pets’ mouths, and those can spiral out of control quickly if not found early by a veterinarian. During a dental check-up for your pet, the vet will make sure their teeth are reasonably clean and that there seems to be no pain.
 
2. Skin and Coat
 
Your vet should check this during a typical health exam anyway, but checking the skin and fur of your pet is more important than you may know. Not only can fleas or other harmful parasites hide in their coat or on their skin, but if not treated quickly, they may experience immense pain or discomfort, and it could even lead to other health problems down the road.
 
3. Muscles and Abdomen
 
Pets need their strength and agility as much as, if not more than we do. Making sure your pets are not suffering from any muscular deficiencies or anything wrong with their skeletal system is an important aspect of giving them a clean bill of health. Like in humans, bone or muscle issues can develop suddenly and cause detrimental health problems down the line. If anything develops or appears, your vet can recommend the best course of preventative action.
 
Furthermore, the abdomen is a crucial part of any health examination. Pet foods can cause any number of health problems in the stomach, and can potentially be fatal in some animals. When you have annual examinations of your pet’s abdomen, the vet can make sure their diet is the right one for them.
 
4. Eyes
 
Pets can survive without their sight, of course, but knowing the status of your pet’s vision is important. If they are going blind, you can make accommodations to help them live happily without their vision. If their eyes are healthy, then you have no cause for concern. If they are not going blind but there is some other potential problem lurking in their eyes, your vet can determine the cause and treatment and keep your pet happy and comfortable.
 
5. Ears
 
Hearing (along with smell) is typically the sense that our animals are most dependent on. Making sure your dog or cat’s ears are clear and functioning is a massive part of making them healthy and happy. Even for deaf animals, the veterinarian will check the ears for signs of infection or discomfort. Clean ears are important, both for hearing and deaf creatures.
 
At any normal exam at the vet’s office, all of these should be thoroughly examined, along with heart rate, weight, and other various things that are dependent upon the type of pet you have and their age, among other things. The most important takeaway is this fact: your pet’s annual check-up at the vet is incredibly important to ensure that they are staying healthy and comfortable.

About Author

Renee Kemper

Mother of two active teenagers, living in Arkansas with her Husband, she and her family are energetic outdoor enthusiasts. They can be found Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, and always finding new ways to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. A country girl at heart, but living in the middle of town, she has found creative ways to make the best of both worlds. Founder of thatsjustlife.com and contributing author of The Mom Quilt, she writes and blogs about food, family, and their many adventures.

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