Some pet owners seem to think that as long as their pets seem healthy, they don’t need to go to the vet, but in truth, every pet should see a veterinarian for a full physical exam no matter what.
The first problem is that if your pet only travels in the car when it is sick, it will come to associate the car/carrier with bad things. Then when you really need to take him/her somewhere, the trip is more stressful for you both. You can teach your pet not to fear its carrier, the car or the vet only if you don’t wait until he/she is so sick that diagnostic testing and hospitalization is required. If your pet has never seen the vet except the day it was spayed or neutered, how can she/he have good memories and be unafraid?
The second issue is that pets hide disease, because in nature, only the strongest survive and illness can target an animal for predators. Your dog (and especially your cat) is going to disguise his weakness as long as he can. Once it is so bad that he can’t hide it anymore, it might be too late for anything to be done. You see your pet every day and you might not notice subtle weight loss or signs of disease that may stand out to a veterinary team member.
The third issue (and most important) is that a veterinarian needs to see your pet when things are normal to establish a baseline. As he or she grows older and becomes more likely to have health problems, the baseline helps us know how progressed things have gotten. Federal Prescription Law requires that we have examined your pet FOR THE CURRENT ISSUE (in this case, wellness) to be able to renew medications. Things like heartworm prevention and prescription flea and tick medications are covered under this law.
A veterinarian will see your pet with trained eyes. He or she will examine parts of your pet you would not think to check.
Seeing the vet is not just for vaccines anymore. There are issues about whether or not to give vaccines and which are appropriate for your specific pet’s lifestyle. Seeing us at least once a year ensures that we are all a team with your pet as the MVP!