“Think about the dentist. We all hate going, but we do it anyway. We finish our appointment and – even if all is well – we book up to see them again in 6 months’ time. This is standard practice; we seem to just understand that having our teeth checked over regularly, even when we’re healthy, is the sensible thing to do.
The same process should apply to dogs and their veterinary care. Prevention is better, less painful and often less expensive than cure. Put simply: preventative health checks are a great idea.
Spotting symptoms early on
You can also think of a preventative health check as an MOT for your dog. Dogs can’t tell us when they’re feeling poorly, and many conditions may be symptomless during their early stages.
By bringing your dog in for a health check, the vet has a chance to conduct a ‘nose to tail’ assessment of your pet. The result is a win-win scenario – you either know your pet is just as healthy as they seem, or you spot an underlying condition far earlier than if you’d waited for symptoms to appear.
What will a vet look out for during a health check?
A standard health check will include:
- Dental check-up
- Weight check and dietary advice
- A thorough look at your pet’s fur
- Eye checks
- Heartbeat and respiratory checks
- A temperature check
- A check of the genitals
- Joint and movement checks
You’ll also be able to have a chat with a professional about your dog. Any behavioural habits you’ve noticed and haven’t thought much in to? Now is the time to discuss it!
A good relationship with your vet
It’s not just about good physical health. By bringing your dog to the vets regularly (most vets will recommend 2 health checks a year), you’ll get them used to the vets; they may even come to think of it positively!
The more you see your vet, the stronger the bond between you, them and your furry friend will likely become. You’ll feel more comfortable asking questions, and generally adopt a more hands-on approach to your dog’s health.
So – what are you waiting for?
Approach it from the ‘better safe than sorry’ angle. Because it is – preventative health care is what we vets like to call the gold standard of pet ownership. It might seem like a fuss, or your dog might prefer to stay at home, but they’d almost certainly thank you for it in the long run (if they could).”
In the spirit of preventative health care, My Family Vets offer FREE health checks for all new pets who register with them. Here are the clinics around the UK.
One near you? Pawsome! Learn more and register for the free health check here.