While most families are busily preparing for a new school season, with shopping for school supplies and getting the kids health checkups in order, it is a good time to remember that our furry friends also require consistent pet wellness care. Keeping your pet on schedule for those important vaccines and parasite control is vital to overall health and happiness.

At Carriage Hills Animal Hospital, we’re celebrating National Pet Immunization month by reminding pet parents that “back to school” prep can also include your four-legged kiddos.

Vaccines: Timing Is Everything

Sometimes it is easy to get a little lax about keeping up-to-date with our pets ongoing wellness care needs, assuming that a lapse in preventives or vaccines isn’t a big deal if it is only a few weeks. Unfortunately, these medications and immunizations are only as good as maintaining their presence in the body – in some cases, such as heartworm, one missed month means you will also need to bring your pet in to be tested before starting up on the preventive again.

When it comes to infectious illnesses, you simply don’t want to take any chances. Recent outbreaks of canine influenza, as well as life-threatening illnesses like parvovirus and distemper, never take a break and can spread quickly between unvaccinated animals.

While we understand that some pet owners have concerns about over-vaccinating, keeping your pet’s regular wellness exams is a great way to maintain only the vaccines that are needed based on your pet’s level of risk, health, age, and other important factors.

Pet Wellness Care: Beyond the Basic Shots

There are many reasons why we recommend that your pet be brought in to see us at least once a year. Wellness care encompasses all aspects of wellbeing for a better quality of life. Some of the areas of health we look into during your pet’s exam include:

Dental health – While you may think your pet’s smile lights up a room, chances are, if he is over 3 years of age he has some form of dental disease. We can help keep your pet’s smile bright and healthy through consistent exams and cleanings.

Nutrition – Diet plays a lead role in your pet’s overall energy, weight, and health. Some pets with certain conditions or illnesses may be better benefited by a prescription diet, while other pets perhaps need help in the weight department.

Behavior – Your pet’s wellness exam is a great place to get feedback on any issues relating to aggression, anxiety, or fear to help your pet cope and make family life healthier for all.

Examination and diagnostics – Early disease detection is crucial in giving your pet the best chances for a healthy and long life. Because pets do not always show signs of an illness or disease until it has progressed, diagnostic testing and a thorough nose to tail exam are essential in catching any problems before they become bigger problems.

Human/animal bond – We also believe that by establishing a good relationship with your veterinarian you also strengthen your bond with your pet, and are better equipped to give him the best life imaginable.

Is your pet due for an exam or annual vaccinations? Take the “back to school” cue and schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing your fur kid!