Naperville_iStock_000037246336_LargeIf you are like many pet owners, the moment you begin to think about your pet’s wellness exam may coincide with a moment of dread. Thoughts like, “How am I going to put Fluffy in her carrier?!?” or, “Will Banjo try and run when I get the leash?” start to flood our mind as we feel the panic start to set in. Some of us also feel a sense of worry about seeing our pets age, and perhaps feel a tinge of avoidance when the annual exam rolls around.

However, wellness exams, like our own yearly physicals, are important to keeping your pet healthy. And, when you are prepared, these exams can provide opportunities for enhanced well-being for our pets, slow down the progression of age-related conditions, and even help diagnose issues before they take a turn for the worst.

Everyday Pet Preventive Health

One of the great aspects of preventive care is that it is empowering. This is because it relies on the decisions we, as responsible pet owners, can make each day. Here are ways to prepare for your pet’s wellness exam by practicing responsible pet care throughout the year.

  • Keep a pet health journal where you can note any changes to appetite, habits, energy, and behavior
  • Feed your pet a quality, whole foods diet and stick with the suggested meal portions
  • Keep your pet moving via daily exercise and socialization opportunities
  • Address behavioral changes right away, since these can indicate health issues or even the need for professional training
  • Maintain a detailed file for each pet in the home with medical records, adoption records, vaccinations records, and other pertinent information
  • Stay informed on pet health topics by perusing Naperville Animal Hospital’s pet-related blogs, articles and videos
  • Be vigilant about annual or biannual examinations, as well as follow up appointments

Preparing for Your Pet’s Wellness Exam

Now that we’ve covered all of the ways you can make a difference in your pet’s daily care, let’s talk about the annual exam. Since pets under 6 years of age may only see their veterinarians once a year, it’s imperative to be as prepared and as thorough with questions and information as possible.

To enhance the wellness exam experience, be prepared with the following:

  • Your pet health journal (refer to the above), notes about changes you have noticed or general concerns
  • Your pet’s medical records and any background information, especially if this is his first visit to see the us
  • His or her date of birth (if known)
  • Current medications
  • Collar and leash or a carrier
  • Stool sample (if requested)
  • Current list of foods and treats
  • Information about changes in the household or travel plans that include your pet (since this may indicate the need for additional vaccinations or parasite preventives)
  • Your questions about optimal pet care or anything else you’d like recommendations on

Your pet’s annual examination is our greatest resource in promoting lifelong health. It is the foundation that makes early diagnosis possible and offers the advantage of slowing down the physical effects of aging.

Wellness exams are also wonderful opportunities for you to discuss your concerns and get assistance with a myriad of pet health challenges. And, of course, the Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital love to see you and your best friend.

To help make caring for your pet simple and affordable through every stage of your pet’s health, we also offer Preventative Care Plans. These include free office visits and and discounts all year. Unlike insurance, where you pay for coverage you may never use, Preventative Care Plans always provide the services you pay for. They are affordably priced healthcare plans that spread the cost conveniently over twelve months.

We hope these tips help you get the most from your visit with us. We look forward to seeing you.