We all know the benefits of preventative care, both for ourselves and our beloved pets. But there are countless reasons we don't always follow through. For the sake of our pets living longer, healthier and happier lives, though, we have to make the effort. Unfortunately, according to a recent poll by PetMD, nearly two in ten pet owners had not visited their vet for a routine check-up in the past year, and a whopping 26% of dog owners don't visit their vet until their pet is sick.
Why is that a big "Oops"? Because pets age faster than humans, so skipping even one annual veterinary exam is like you humans missing five years of check-ups! From that perspective, we can start to see how missing your pets' annual checkup could lead to future medical issues. In fact, Dr. Ashley Gallagher, a veterinarian at the Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C., says that "Annual checkups also allow your vet to more easily spot problems at their earliest stages, when they can often be handled simply and cost effectively." How does that translates into dollars and cents: The American Pet products Association's 2013-1014 survey reports that while routine vet visits average $231, emergency visits average $314 and illness visits "$364. That's quite a jump!
Speaking only for me, I visited my vet twice this year— once in early spring to have my heart worm test, and just a few weeks ago to have my complete checkup and vaccines.
Here I am making nice with Dr. Mike, my longtime veterinarian. He always sits on the floor and plays with me first, while sneaking in a bit of the exam. (I can never figure out why he smells my ears, can you?)
And you've got to get your heart and lungs checked, don't you?
Where's my post-exam treat, Dr. Mike?
You can get the most for your money by bringing a list of questions to your annual visit, so your veterinarian will give your humans tips on maintaining a healthy weight, proper dental hygiene and more. That's also one of the benefits of establishing a long term relationship with a vet you trust—he or she will become familiar with your pets and better able to more easily spot anything different about their health.
And we can't think of a better way to jump start your regular vet visits than with a credit toward your next exam. That's why we're excited to announce that Hills Science Diet is giving away $100 toward a vet check up, every day for 90 days, to allow more pet owners the chance to enjoy annual checkups for their pet!
Just visit http://www.hillspet.com/healthy-pets-happy-life.html, choose "Healthy Happy Dogs" or "Healthy Happy Cats", complete the short entry form and you're on your way to #GetHealthyHappy!
This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Healthier Pets. Happier Lives.™, but Bocci's Beefs only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.