Many years ago we started recommending Wellness examinations twice annually in dogs and cats. This went against the idea that a single visit to the veterinarian’s office annually for vaccinations was adequate. The first part of our rationale for multiple wellness checks is that early detection of illnesses gives us the best opportunity for 1) cure, 2) long term management to achieve the best quality of life for our patients, and 3) the opportunity to lessen the economic impact on pet owners.
The second part of our rationale involves the old comparison in dogs that “a year in a dog’s life is equal to seven years in a human.” With the level of care for our pets in 2014, one could argue that this is no longer accurate. However, the bottom line is that pets do not live as long as the average human. So, taking the old comparison, the annual visit for a wellness check-in a dog is equivalent to you or I visiting our doctor every seven years. That is a long time and health problems can progress markedly in that long period. We strive for visits every six months for pet wellness exams. Again, the old comparison would in dictate that this is like me seeing my family doctor every three and one-half years. Maybe not ideal, but better than once every seven years.
Wellness Programs are important for your pets AND for loving owners.