What is a wellness examination?
A wellness examination is a routine medical examination of a pet who appears healthy, as opposed to an examination of a pet who is ill. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The focus of a wellness examination is the maintenance of optimal health.
How often should my pet have a wellness examination?
The answer to this question depends on your pet’s age and current health status. During early life, wellness exams are recommended monthly, while for the average adult pet, annual wellness examinations are the norm, and semi-annual examinations are recommended for middle aged, senior, and geriatric pets.
Pets age at a faster rate than people. In one calendar year a pet may age the equivalent of four to sixteen years in a human's life. The reason for this dramatic difference is that puppies and kittens reach maturity very quickly and are essentially adolescents or young adults by one year of age; therefore, they are considered to be the equivalent of 15 or 16 years old by their first birthday. During the second year, the rate of aging slows down a little so that your pet will be the equivalent of about 24 or 25 years old by their second birthday. After that, the rate of aging stabilizes.
Your veterinarian is in the best position to recommend how often your pet should have a wellness examination based on its age, lifestyle, and health status.