When our pet is small or new at home, it is easy to remember the visit to the Veterinarian. However, many pet owners do not realize or remember the importance of regular veterinary care throughout their lives over time. Without regular visits, your pet’s health could decline and create problems that affect its quality of life. The quality of your pet’s life depends on the care it receives as it grows and its internal systems slow down.
As your pet grows, many of the body’s functions reduce its ability to function. When problems arise in an adult or older pet, they can often get complicated. If these problems are caught early, the chance of treating and correcting them is significantly increased. Early detection begins with identifying the age group to which your pet belongs.
How do you know when your dog becomes an adult dog?
The age of any dog, relative to humans, is based primarily on the size of the breed. Smaller breeds, or those under 10 kilos, age slower, while larger breeds, or those over 40 kilos, age much faster.
While an exact determination of the animal’s age, relative to a human, is impossible to measure, these standards can be used to estimate when your dog is considered an adult:
• 10 Kilos or less = 8 years
• 11- 40 Kilos = 7 years
• 40 Kilos or more = 5 to 6 years
If your pet already falls into the adult category, the Veterinarian’s check-ups should be twice a year. While this may seem excessive, an annual visit for an adult dog is equivalent to allowing four years to go by without a visit to the Doctor for an elderly male. Problems can arise during this time and are easily detectable by the pet owner, and can cause serious problems if left untreated for a long time.
What does the Veterinarian look for during an exam?
In the beginning, the vet will check all your pet’s vital signs, such as the heart rate and respiratory rate, and the physical characteristics, such as the condition of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
Behavior is very important too. Check if the animal is alert, sensitive, bored, or depressed. He will ask you questions like:
Has your water consumption increased? Has the frequency of urination changed? Have you vomited or had diarrhea?
These questions can help determine your pet’s overall health.
The Veterinarian will also check how the bones and joints are supporting the body. Does the animal have trouble getting up? Can the dog take long walks or run as before?
Many animals are in pain and cannot tell their owners, so it is important to have them checked by a specialist.
The Veterinarian will also review your pet’s medical history. If the vaccination schedule has been followed and all vaccines have been systematically applied year after year? Have you had preventive care and deworming programs, such as heartworm prevention and flea and tick control?
All these aspects contribute to longevity and improve the animal’s quality of life.