Taking your pet in for his first physical examination? Learn about what to expect and more here at Care Animal Hospital.

Why does my pet need his first examination?

After letting your newborn pup or kitten settle in his newfound home, taking him to the vet should be your first and foremost step. During his first-ever examination, your vet will evaluate your pet’s overall state and health. If your pet came from the shelter, then it is even a greater responsibility to have him checked in immediately.

Not only will this first examination identify any abnormalities present within your pet, but it also establishes a good Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship that will allow your vet to get to know your furry friend better. In the future, this enables your vet to instinctively tell if there’s an issue with your pet that needs closer examination.

This first trip to the vet is essential in the maintenance and prevention of illnesses and disease that may plague your pet in the future. For any questions or clarifications you may have with bringing up your pet in a healthy environment, this would also be the time to do so.

What does my vet check during the first check-up?

Here are the assessments your veterinarian makes at Care Animal Hospital.

  • Overall body condition
  • Weight and height
  • Your pet’s temperature
  • Assessment of your pet’s heart
  • Examination of skin and haircoat
  • Dental evaluation of pet’s teeth and gums
  • Touch and feel of pet’s lymph nodes for signs of inflammation
  • Check up of eyes for cloudiness, redness, abnormal swelling
  • Check up of ears for hair loss, discharge, discoloration
  • Check up of face for symmetry, skin folds, breathing
  • Check up of legs for strength or lameness, other muscle and nerve problems
  • Check up of paws for toenails, or any other issue
  • Check up of abdomen for any organ size abnormalities or discomfort, pain

What should I do to prepare for the first check up?

It would be a good idea to give your chosen hospital a call prior to the first examination. This way, your vet will be able to inform you of important matters to bring or be informed about during the check up.

Depending on your vet, he/she may also ask you to bring both fecal and urine samples of your pet. These samples can be submitted to laboratory work for any abnormalities. 

Other than that, information that your vet may also ask you to be prepared about includes an understanding of your pet’s history, the brand of your pet’s food, your pet’s demeanor at home, feeding schedules, medications or treatments, as well as any uncommon behaviors your pet exhibits.

Does my pet need to go back for a check up after a year?

While your pet is still a puppy or kitten, they may need to pay monthly visits to the vet for vaccinations and check ups until they are 16 weeks old. Vets also like to check for behaviors, and characteristics of the pet as influenced by upbringing.

When your pet reaches the adult stage, (1-7 years old) only then will a yearly wellness check up be prescribed. This check by your doctor is to ensure your pet is able to maintain good health and well-being.

When your pet reaches its senior years, (7 years and older) wellness examinations will be required twice a year. Multiple tests will be conducted along with the regular assessments to make sure your pet lives a long and happy life.

When should I bring my pet in for a check up?

You should take your pet to the hospital if he/she is showing any signs of abnormal behavior or if he appears to be injured or in pain.

Those symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, eye discharge, peculiar elimination methods (such as urinating and defecating), among others.

If you suspect that your pet is in need of an examination, regardless if they show any signs of pain or discomfort, then by all means, take your furry friend in for a visit and put your mind at ease knowing your pet is being looked at by your trusted vet.