Routine wellness care is a vital component of your pet’s health care regimen. Nothing is more effective at staving off preventable illnesses and conditions than regular exams and discussions regarding your pet’s ever-changing health. Let’s take a closer look at this essential care for a happy, healthy pet, by diving into the five W’s of wellness care for pets.

Who should receive wellness care?

All pets should receive wellness care, from their first puppy or kitten visit, to their last quality-of-life discussion. Whether your cat is strictly indoors and has never ventured so much as a whisker outside, or your dog is an active hiking and sporting pooch who travels all over the country, your furry pal requires routine wellness care to check for hidden diseases and prevent serious illnesses.

What does wellness care for pets entail?

Wellness care for pets encompasses much more than vaccinations, although they are a crucial part of disease prevention. During your pet’s wellness visit, our team will perform the following essential tasks:

  • Comprehensive physical exam
  • Lifestyle-appropriate vaccinations
  • Routine diagnostic testing based on age, history, and genetic predisposition
    • Blood work
    • X-rays
    • Blood pressure testing
    • Urinalysis
  • Parasite screening and prevention
  • Dental health evaluation and care recommendations
  • Nutrition, diet, and weight assessment
  • Behavior management

Wellness care also includes managing your pet’s chronic conditions and evaluating their treatment response. During your furry pal’s wellness visit, you should ask our team any questions you may have about your pet’s health and well-being.

When should pets receive wellness care?

While all pets should receive wellness care at least annually, at certain ages they require more frequent visits to remain in peak condition. Puppies and kittens need vaccinations boostered on an appropriate schedule to become fully protected from life-threatening diseases, which gives us monthly opportunities to see your furry friend during their first few months. This also allows us to ensure your pet is provided an excellent foundation for lifelong good health. Healthy adult pets rarely require more than an annual wellness visit to ensure they remain happy and healthy, whereas senior and geriatric pets require more frequent visits, possibly quarterly, so we can closely monitor them, and manage any age-related conditions. Each pet’s wellness care will be tailored to their unique needs, and we’ll discuss your best friend’s schedule at each appointment.

Where should pets receive wellness care?

While most of your pet’s wellness care will be performed at our hospital, you can tackle some of their preventive care needs at home. Together, we will form an unbeatable team to ensure all your pet’s needs are met. Examples of at-home and in-hospital wellness care include:

  • Dental care — Most pets have some form of dental disease by age 3, but with appropriate care, many periodontal problems can be avoided. At home, daily toothbrushing is the gold standard of care, while routine professional dental cleanings to remove stuck-on tartar above and below the gumline will thwart more serious oral issues.
  • Parasite prevention — Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and intestinal parasites can cause a variety of serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses in your furry pal. By discussing your pet’s parasite prevention protocol with your Scripps Ranch Veterinary Hospital veterinarian, we can determine the best preventives to keep your four-legged friend safe from pests.
  • Nutrition and weight management — More than half the American pet population carries too much weight. By devising a proper nutrition, diet, and exercise regimen with our team, and implementing the plan at home, your furry pal can remain in tip-top shape and avoid the dangers of obesity, which include heart disease, diabetes, joint disease, and some cancers.
  • Skin and coat care — Many pets are afflicted by allergies, dry skin, ear infections, anal gland problems, and other skin issues, but you can avoid serious conditions that may require veterinary intervention by taking care of the following preventive grooming tasks at home:
    • Frequent brushing  — to prevent mats and skin infections
    • Routine ear cleaning — to minimize ear infections
    • Regular nail trims — to prevent torn or overgrown nails
    • Routine anal gland expression, if necessary — to avoid impactions, infections, and abscesses
    • Regular bathing — to strip allergens, such as pollen, from the skin

By working as a team, we can address all aspects of your best friend’s wellness care to ensure your pet remains happy and healthy. 

Why should pets receive routine wellness care?

Through routine wellness care, we can catch disease processes in their earliest stages, making treatment or management more successful and easier on you, your pet, and your wallet. While bringing your pet to a veterinarian if they’re not sick may not seem necessary, investing in regular preventive care can help avoid costly and potentially deadly diseases, and keep your best friend by your side for a long, healthy life. Like routine maintenance for your car, wellness care for your pet will keep them in tip-top shape and “running” well for years to come.

Is your four-legged friend due for their annual or biannual wellness visit? Don’t put it off any longer—call us at Scripps Ranch Veterinary Hospital to schedule your pet’s preventive care visit.