September 24, 2023

Just like humans need regular checkups to stay healthy, our four-legged friends also require routine visits to their veterinarians. So, when should you take your pet for routine exams, and what are the top signs that your furry friend needs a check-up? Let’s find out!

Frequency of Routine Checkups

The frequency of routine checkups tends to vary depending on several factors such as age, breed, and medical history. Generally, younger pets should have checkups once or twice a year, while senior pets might require more frequent visits to monitor their health closely.

Top Signs Your Furry Friend Needs a Check-up

Keep an eye out for these common signs that indicate your pet needs a check-up:

Changes in Appetite and Weight

Sudden changes in appetite or unexplained weight loss/gain can be indicative of an underlying health issue.

Persistent Cough or Sneezing

A persistent cough or constant sneezing might signal respiratory problems or allergies.

Excessive Scratching or Hair Loss

If your pet is continuously scratching or losing an unusual amount of hair, it could suggest skin conditions or parasites.

Lethargy or Decrease in Activity

Is your pet less active than usual? Lethargy can be a sign of various health problems, from anemia to heart disease.

Bad Breath or Dental Issues

Bad breath and visible dental problems warrant a visit to the vet for an oral checkup.

Changes in Bathroom Habits

Urinary or bowel irregularities can be indications of gastrointestinal or urinary tract issues.

Unusual Lumps or Bumps

Any mysterious lumps, bumps, or growths should be checked by a veterinarian to rule out tumors or other abnormalities.

Behavioral Changes

Sudden aggression, withdrawal, or excessive vocalization might signal pain, discomfort, or anxiety.

Skin Issues

Redness, swelling, or scabs on your pet’s skin need professional assessment and treatment.

Signs of Pain or Discomfort

Limping, stiffness, or difficulty moving are signs that your pet may be experiencing pain and should be checked by a veterinarian.

Components of a Routine Wellness Exam for Pets

Routine wellness exams for pets usually include the following components:

Physical Examination

A thorough physical exam evaluates your pet’s overall health by assessing their lungs, heart, weight, stance, gait, eyes, coat, nails, feet, ears, and oral health.

Veterinary Surgery

Sometimes, routine checkups might reveal issues that require veterinary surgery, such as tumor removal, dental procedures, or orthopedic issues.


Vaccines play a vital role in maintaining your pet’s health by protecting against common contagious diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and rabies. These preventive measures are essential for safeguarding your pet’s well-being and ensuring their longevity. By staying up to date with recommended vaccines, like those available for pet vaccinations in Gallup, NM, you take proactive steps to shield your beloved companion from potentially harmful illnesses, enabling them to lead a healthy and active life.

Parasite Prevention

Protecting your pet from parasites is essential. Your vet can recommend methods and treatments to prevent fleas, ticks, heartworms, and various other parasites.

Benefits of Routine Checkups and Early Detection of Diseases

There are several advantages of routine checkups for your pets, including:

  • Improved long-term health
  • More effective treatment options
  • Lower costs compared to treating advanced conditions
  • Increased quality of life for pets

Catching potential health issues early during a vet checkup allows for more effective treatment and management, leading to better overall health for your furry friends.


Being attentive to the signs and regularly scheduling checkups are crucial for your pet’s health and happiness. Monitoring any changes in your pet’s behavior, appearance, or habits and consulting a veterinarian promptly will ensure a long, healthy, and happy life for your furry companion.