Discover how regular checkups keep your furry friend in tiptop shape. Regular checkups are an important part of your pet’s health. Pet owners can only see the obvious signs of injury or disease, which is why you should take your furry friend in for regular visits — only a medical professional can fully assess your pet’s health and make sure there aren’t any issues. Checkups are crucial for two main reasons — they help ensure your pet is protected from preventable diseases, and they are the only way to detect early signs of disease. Prevention Is the Best Medicine Keeping your pet healthy starts with preventative measures. Regular vet visits will ensure your pet is up to date on her vaccinations. Your vet will also make sure your pet is on the proper preventative medications. Regular doses of flea, tick, and heartworm meds will ensure she’s protected from nasty parasites that can cause serious health issues. Early Detection of Disease Routine checkups are also necessary for detecting early signs of disease, especially as your pet gets older. Because your pet can’t tell you when she’s feeling ill, it takes a medical professional to uncover any issues. A veterinarian will do a thorough examination of your pet, including checking her weight, inspecting her teeth and gums, listening to her heart and lungs, and ordering lab tests if needed. During the visit, your vet may also ask about any changes in your pet’s behavior. Being less active, drinking more water than usual, or eating less can all be signs of an underlying condition. The earlier a disease is detected, the better chances your pet will have for recovery. Your veterinarian will advise on how often you should bring your pet in for a checkup. Most pets typically need a checkup once a year. Senior pets usually have exams twice a year, while puppies and kittens need more frequent checkups.