« Back to Index

Maintaining Health & Wellness

pet checkupVeterinary care isn’t just about healing sick animals, quite the contrary.  Just as important as treating disease is the promotion of wellness, the fact by assisting our pets to live their day-to-day lives in a healthy state of body and mind will help prevent illness and prolong their lives.

Canada’s Pet Wellness Report
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), in partnership with Hill’s® Science Diet®

Many vet clinics incorporate wellness into their patient care routines through annual wellness examinations for pets.  The precise schedule for a pet’s wellness exams would be determined between the owner and the veterinarian, but the general suggestion is that such exams take place yearly up until the senior years, at which time the frequency increases to twice per year.  This is largely due to the rate at which our pets age in comparison to ourselves, meaning that a yearly exam for a pet would be similar to a 4-8 year cycle in human terms.  That is a considerable amount of aging and changes taking place in what seems to us as a relatively short period of time.

“What is involved in a wellness exam?”, you might ask?

To summarise the particulars, not a whole lot that you wouldn’t expect out of a check-up with a family doctor.

Through a thorough physical exam, diagnostic tests and a series of questions, veterinarians endeavour to build a comprehensive history of an animal’s health.  The precise details included will vary depending on the age of the pet and its previous history but the following is a summary of some of the common inclusions:


  • Vitals (temperature, pulse, breathing rate and weight)
  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Mouth
  • Skin
  • Abdomen / Organs


  • blood
  • urine
  • feces

Topics covered in health history questions;

  • unusual behaviour seen
  • physical changes noticed
  • coughing
  • diet and appetite
  • drinking habits
  • any issues with ridding of waste
  • vomiting
  • energy levels
  • balance

Through these methods, a veterinarian can gain a vast insight into the health of an animal and can recommend any appropriate follow-up or treatments as a result, be they dental cleanings, vaccinations, medicine to battle infection, treatment for parasites, dietary alterations or additional health or natural supplements.

Pet insurance packages can be purchased in Canada that include wellness in their coverage.

Booking an annual wellness examination for a pet helps to ensure that they will live a long and healthy life.  Talk to your veterinarian today for more details or to schedule your appointment.