Depending on the age and current health of your pet, your pet should see their veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up. Younger or older pets or pets with health concerns may need to visit more often. These vet visits can not only be an opportunity for routine vaccinations and parasite control (fleas, ticks, worms etc) to be given but to also for your vet to check your pet’s skin, coat, teeth, ears, ears, heart, lungs and internal organs (bladder, liver, kidneys, intestines, spleen and stomach) by feeling your pet’s abdomen. As your pet ages, these vet visits are a good opportunity for you to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs, any weight management or dental care needed, any changes you may have noticed in their behaviour, habits or activity and if there are any other concerns you may have. Your vet may recommend certain tests (blood, urine or stool tests or x-rays) to check for any illnesses or conditions. Remember, even if your pet does not show any obvious outward symptoms of being sick, your vet may be able to detect something from their physical examination that needs further testing. Don’t be afraid to ask for more clarification if you are not sure why or what your pet is being tested for.

Speak to your vet to find out how often your pet should be receiving a check-up but don’t be afraid to take your pet to your vet if you have any cause for concern.