Wellness Planning for Pet Health
Pet wellness is a broad term referring to a composite of veterinary services, with our primary focus on maintaining health, quality of life, and longevity in your pet. The wellness check-up generally includes such routine care as pet vaccinations, an oral exam and dental cleaning, and parasite prevention. In addition, we may discuss important spay and neuter decisions, pet training, or a puzzling development of unwanted behaviors in your animal.
During your pet's first wellness check-up, the veterinarian will perform a head-to-toe exam and will compile a complete medical history. Ongoing visits will add to this record, giving an excellent overview of your pet's wellness from youth to maturity.
At the time of your wellness visit, please mention any unusual behavior that you have noticed, including:
- Eating more than usual
- Excessive drinking of water, panting, scratching, or urination
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Bad breath
Tell us about your pet's daily behavior, diet, water intake, and exercise routine. Depending on where you live, your pet's age, and your family lifestyle, we will likely discuss exposure to fleas, ticks, heartworms, and intestinal parasites. We then develop an individualized treatment and preventive plan that fits the needs of you and your pet.
Preventing Pet Behavior Problems
The AAHA website offers these tips to assist you in your behavior training efforts. Please know that these are general guidelines and we hope to discuss your pet training successes and challenges at each wellness visit.
- Set rules immediately and be consistent.
- Avoid situations that promote inappropriate behavior.
- Observe the pet and provide what it needs (food, care, attention, and entertainment).
- Supervise the new pet diligently through undivided individual attention and training, and restrict the pet's access to a limited area of the house until training is completed.
- Set them up to succeed! Encourage good behavior with praise and attention.
- Correct bad behaviors by providing positive alternatives (a toy for a slipper, scratching post for the sofa).
- Never physically punish or force compliance to commands. This may lead to fear, biting, or aggression.
- Don't play rough or encourage aggression or play biting.
- Expose pets to lots of people, animals, and environments where you want them to live.
- See your veterinarian if serious or unresolved pet behavior problems exist.
For formal pet training organizations in the area, we recommend:
“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”
— St. Francis of Assisi