Our pets are different from us in many ways, humans normally don’t chew on rocks and socks like our fur babies, but we’re similar in one way: physical exams. Humans make a yearly trip to the doctor to make sure everything is working correctly, and we should make the same consideration for our furry little friends.

Since we go once a year for a physical exam, why shouldn’t our pets go just as frequently? We may also need to consider taking our pets to the vet more often when they grow older for a dog checkup. Many pet owners worry about the vet exam cost because bills can quickly add up if you visit more than once a year, but don’t worry, we’ll discuss how prices can be incredibly reasonable.

What is a Cat or Dog Annual Exam?

Cat being examined with a stethoscope by vet

A dog or cat annual exam is often called a wellness examination, which is similar to a physical for humans. Instead of waiting until the pet is ill, this checkup is done for a healthy pooch or kitty. It’s merely to make sure your pet is healthy and behaving normally.

These appointments become increasingly necessary when your fur baby gets older because dogs age much quicker than humans. For  , generally older than ten years, veterinarians recommend physical examinations every six months to ensure the most excellent care because their bodies breakdown around ten years old. On the opposite end, vets suggest bringing your furry friend in more frequently when they’re under one-year-old.

What to Expect during the Vet Exam?

Westie getting examined by veterinarian

This one might seem self-evident to some, but it needs to be said.

Vets are doing everything they can for your little friend, and they care for the animals they see, so they will do everything the can to keep them safe during their exam.

Throughout the examination, the veterinarian will inspect your pet from nose to tail, but they’ll specifically look over:

  • Ears and Eyes

Your pet will be examined for redness, discharge, or itchiness on these parts of the pet. Short hearing or visual tests might also occur throughout this part of the cat or dog annual exam.

  • Heart and Lungs

The vet will listen to the strength and sounds of their heart and lungs through a stethoscope to make sure there are no problems. They might also prompt your pet to run or exercise to check their heart rate, as well.

  • Coat or Skin

Examining a pet’s coat or skin can be extremely important for their health and excessive shedding can also happen regularly, which is typically a result of stress. If dry spots or discoloration occur, they may signify a more significant issue with your fur baby.

  • Mouth and Teeth

The vet will check for tartar build-up, broken teeth, or staining around the lips. Periodontal disease can also become an issue without properly brushing your pet’s teeth.

  • Nose and Face

Vets primarily check for discharges and how well the pet breathes. For dogs, checking to make sure their nose is wet and is functioning correctly.

  • Body Condition

This might be the most critical part of the vet exam for your pooch or kitty. The vet will measure their weight against the norm for the breed. They also might suggest cutting back the food portions if your fur baby has a big belly!

This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means. If the vet believes something is out of sorts, they might elect different tests or exams. Those additional screenings could drive up the vet exam cost, which is what most people are concerned about.

How Much Does a Vet Exam Cost?

Dog wearing glasses with US dollars

Unless you’re rolling in money like this pup to the left, you’re probably concerned with the annual pet physical cost. However, there’s no need to worry at all.

Most office calls to the veterinarian for a cat or dog checkup range from $45-55, making it a completely affordable option once a year. Additional costs can be added as necessary, such as vaccines, heartworm tests, and fecal exams.

Keep in mind these tests are NOT mandatory, and you may even walk out of the vet office without paying for any of them! They’re entirely up to the vet’s discretion, but remember vets have the best in mind for your furry little friend too.

Just like we told you, those prices are nothing to be frightened about, especially since they’re only once per year. Even if your pet needs every one of those tests, which is highly unlikely, you’re spending a maximum of $175 for the complete vet visit. But the more likely scenario is the physical exam cost plus one vaccine, which totals about $70 for the vet exam.

Other costs can arise but are up to your discretion.

These costs are optional because they’re all based on personal preference; but keep in mind the tests may be necessary for your pet’s well-being. We recommend cleaning your fur baby’s teeth regularly at home and saving hundreds of dollars, but ultimately it’s your call.

Take your Pet to the Vet

White dog with a girl in pjs on bed

Cat and dog checkups are something every pet parent should consider at least once per year. Otherwise known as wellness or physical exams, pet checkups are essential for puppies or kittens during the first few months of their young lives.

Being pet parents ourselves, we always try to look out for fellow pet owners, which is why we believe the best way to decrease the cost of vets is pet insurance from Prudent Pet. Get a free cat insurance quote or dog quote for pet insurance today, and see how we can help pay for your pet’s next annual exam!