The goal of every caring pet parent is to help their furry companion enjoy as many healthy, happy years as possible. The best way to achieve this goal is to make a commitment to ongoing wellness care. Because animals age at a much faster rate than we do, we recommend bringing your pet in for a thorough physical exam and comprehensive wellness check at least once a year. This allows us to both measure your companion’s current health, and to monitor it for any changes over time. Disease prevention and early detection can vastly improve the length and quality of your pet’s life.

Don Head Village Animal Clinic offers complete wellness care services designed to assist our patients through every life stage. As your pet ages, we will adapt our wellness services to meet their changing health care needs. For instance, while your kitten’s annual visits may focus on vaccinations and nutrition, your adult dog’s visits will target disease prevention and weight control. Likewise, your senior pet’s care will shift toward health screenings and how we can make his or her golden years as happy and comfortable as possible. We want to deliver the precise care your pet needs at the very moment it’s needed for optimum results.

One of the most important benefits of routine wellness visits is the opportunity they provide our doctors to detect, diagnose and treat illness and disease in its earliest stages. For many medical conditions, identifying and treating them right away can vastly improve the chances of a positive outcome for your pet. Early diagnosis of a disease process can help your pet live a longer healthier life. What’s more, disease prevention and early detection can also save you a great deal of money over time since it is always much less costly than treating a disease once it’s progressed.

Most importantly, when you bring your pet in to see us once or twice a year, it gives us a chance to develop a relationship with both of you. We believe that the better we get to know you and understand your pet’s unique needs, the better we will be able to develop the most customized, effective health care plan available. We want to become more than just your family vet – we want to become your trusted partner with the shared goal of ensuring that your pet receives the best possible care throughout his or her lifetime.

Don Head Village Animal Hospital offers comprehensive wellness care plans for animals of all ages, to provide your pet with everything he or she needs to stay happy and healthy, from birth through the senior years. These wellness programs include the following:

Puppy and Kitten Wellness Plans

Our puppy and kitten wellness program is designed to offer your new pet all the necessary veterinary care from 6 weeks of age to adolescence.

Starting from our first consultation, we’ll spend as much time as necessary to start your relationship with your new family member off on the right foot, and to develop our own special bond with your new four-legged friend. We’ll discuss basic behaviour and training, nutrition, preventative medical care including vaccinations and parasite control, as well as spaying or neutering.

Our preventative care program includes a full physical examination to make sure your new puppy or kitten is healthy, testing for intestinal parasites, nutritional counseling, training advice and suggestions, and any necessary vaccinations which will be tailored specifically to your new family member.

We encourage you to bring along a list of questions and all the family members who will be involved in providing care to your new pet. Please remember to also bring any previous medical records, should any exist. This will ensure that we will be able to customize the preventative care program that is most appropriate for your pet’s planned lifestyle, activity level and risk factors.

Adult Wellness Plans

Once yearly your healthy adult pet should be seen for a comprehensive physical examination. A complete medical history will be taken and nutritional or behavioural concerns will also be addressed. Each body system is carefully checked for optimal health and any abnormality or unusual finding is noted and addressed. Normal values establish your pet’ personal healthy baseline.

We recommend annual wellness testing (blood tests, fecal testing, urine testing), just as you would undergo similar tests at the time of your own annual check-up. These minimally invasive tests allow us to learn so very much about your pets clinical state, and to identify any potential concerns so they can be addressed before they have the chance to develop further.

Every year we detect many disease processes in the early stages in apparently ‘normal’ adult animals. There is always more that can be done when a disease is diagnosed and treatment started early – in fact, it can even improve your pet’s length and quality of life.

Depending on your pet’s lifestyle and risk factors, a vaccination schedule will be tailored specifically to your pet. It is important to ensure our animal companions are protected from serious diseases, without receiving any unnecessary vaccinations or treatments.

Senior Wellness Plans

When your dog turns 7 or your cat turns 8 years of age, we consider them to have reached their “senior” years. That is the age, statistically, when we can start to notice changes in organ function, osteoarthritic changes may creep up and behavioral changes may become evident. We recommend that your senior pet undergo a wellness examination twice a year, including health screening tests (blood and urine) to ensure that, if any problems are developing, we catch them early.

Even though you may believe your pet is perfectly healthy, there are many disease processes that do not show any outward symptoms until the disease is quite advanced. More advanced diseases can be more difficult to treat and are not always as responsive to treatment as diseases that are diagnosed early.

Keep in mind that our pets age faster than we do – a senior pet will age about 5-8 human years between annual examinations. For that reason, we recommend a wellness checkup every 6 months for elderly pets, or those with complicated health issues. Many symptoms that historically have been attributed to old age and considered untreatable are now treatable because we understand them to be early signs of disease.