Somehow pups always knows when we’re feeling sick or in need of extra snuggles (and thank dog for that). And while we like to think we know everything there is to know about our doggos in response (fave snaccs, the way their butt wiggles when they have to go potty, etc.) spotting pup illness isn’t always easy.
“Dogs are masters at hiding illness and pain until it becomes more severe,” says Dr. Dan Soderberg at Blaine Central Veterinary Clinic. Since we want our dogs to live forever and ever, we asked wellness experts at a grrr-eat group of Twin Cities veterinary clinics the key to long, healthy lives for fluffers. It all starts with the dog wellness exam.
1. Create a Baseline
“Annual wellness blood testing provides a look at your pet’s health from the inside,” says Dr. Melissa DeWoskin of Keller Lake Animal Hospital. A dog wellness exam and blood screening while pupper is healthy establishes baseline values, which are especially important as she ages.
2. Detect Health Issues Early
Visiting the vet annually for wellness exams and diagnostics aids in early detection of diseases (and pup doesn’t mind the car ride or T-R-E-A-Ts the techs give him). “We can often diagnose early changes in pets before the owner has even noticed any clinical signs,” says Dr. Jody Elsen of Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic. “This is the best time for catching these changes and allows for earlier treatment and better, longer outcomes.”
3. Learn More About Your Dog
We teach you a lot at Sidewalk Dog, but we can’t be experts on everything. Dr. Jennifer Mulcahy of Plymouth Heights Pet Hospital says regular wellness exams provide an opportunity to ask questions about dental health, nutrition, or behavioral concerns, such as: Why does my dog eat poop? Is that why his breath stinks? How do I get him to stop hogging the bed? Spoiler alert, jury’s undecided on that last question.
While vet visits look different in 2020 with drop-offs and curbside service, they remain as important as ever. Have any questions about a dog wellness exam? Drop them in the comments.
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