Most people consider it reasonable to get annual medical check-ups, but are more reluctant to take their pet to the vet for a wellness exam unless there are other reasons to go, such as the need to keep vaccinations current. If this sounds like you, then perhaps it’s time for you have a more in-depth conversation with your pet’s veterinarian.
Annual Wellness Strategies
Not everything that goes on with your pet’s health is necessarily a lump or bump that can be observed with the naked eye. Subtle disease processes can be underway for years before the pet begins to display symptoms, and by then, damage that can reduce your pet’s lifespan, may have already taken place. It is much more cost effective to identify and manage early-stage disease then it is to wait until the pet becomes ill.
Wellness strategies will differ depending on the pet’s age and condition and will change over time as the pet gets older. That is why it is important to have regular examinations and diagnostic tests performed in order to maximize your pet’s lifespan and quality of life.
Diet and Weight Management
A recent 2014 study determined that 56% of cats and 52% of dogs examined were either overweight or obese. When the owners of overweight pets were surveyed, nearly 90% thought that their pets were within the proper weight range.
Causes of obesity include feeding too much food, poor quality food, too many treats/table scraps, lack of exercise. Many pet foods available today are little better than processed junk food. High quality, veterinary formulations are more expensive but their quality can have a significant impact on your pet’s health and longevity. Your veterinarian can recommend the best foods to manage your pet’s weight.
How Dental Health Impacts Overall Health
Another aspect of your pet’s health that requires constant monitoring is their teeth. Did you know that 4 out of 5 pets over the age of 3 years have some form of periodontal disease. Dental disease, if unchecked, can lead to heart and kidney disease among other problems. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if and when a dental cleaning is required.
As always, the Scottsdale veterinarians at Horizon Animal Hospital are here when you want to have these conversations. Contact us at 480-800-4559 to schedule an appointment.
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