Our exclusive focus at Kirkwood Animal Hospital is to keep your pets healthy, extend their longevity, and ensure owners and their pets are happy. To accomplish this wellness objective, the entire staff is uniquely dedicated to illness prevention through proactive health management.

While accidents, unexpected events, and emergencies do happen, we endeavor to keep your pet healthy minimizing the need for “on-demand” medical services. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Health Happy Pets

This month we wanted to share several key aspects of pet wellness that owners can influence. To learn more about our unique wellness program, please visit our website.

Wellness begins with what you eat — and the same holds true for your pet.

Diet

Just like people, pets need a well-balanced diet. Today, most commercial pet food producers provide balanced, nutritional diets — some at moderate and others at very expensive prices. Despite many scientific studies of balanced meals, there is actually little correlation between price and overall pet wellness. As an owner, your job is to select a nutritional, well balanced meal that your pet enjoys — maximizing nutrition and minimizing hunger pangs. Paying more for a well-marketed pet food or overextending any food group will not, unfortunately, extend longevity. If you have questions about any particular brand, please contact us.

Exercise

Pets need regular exercise, just like people. We encourage every owner to develop a regular exercise program to help maintain fitness, strength and mental acuity. Exercise serves to keep your pet’s circulatory, respiratory, immune, and muscular systems flexible and robust — more able to resist injury and overcome adversity. Beyond proper nutrition and “portion control,” adding daily or regular exercise will help extend the life of every pet. Please contact us to help develop an exercise program appropriate for your pet’s age, current health condition, and breed.

Stress Management

Pets that are happy are among the healthiest. And one of the greatest ways to reduce your pet’s stress level is to spend quality time with them — including playing games, caressing, and exercising. Given a portion of their day is spent awaiting your return, pets want nothing more than to spend time with you. Time together can not only help you unwind after your workday, it can also help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

Genetics

Some breeds of pets are predisposed to develop particular ailments over their lifetime — often at specific life stages. This is where the training and experience of your veterinarian are essential to maximizing your pet’s longevity. Based upon the results of specific authorized tests conducted at the proper time, concerns about your pet’s future health challenges can be reduced, or proactive measures can be taken to help minimize future health risks. Just as with people, genetics plays a role in health management.

Annual Visits

Perhaps saving the most important for last, regular checkups enable the Kirkwood staff to proactively monitor the health of your pet. Regular checkups enable us to establish your pet’s own medical baseline for annual comparisons — helping to identify potential issues before they require a major therapeutic or medical intervention.

To see the items we evaluate during a checkup or wellness visit (such as eyes, weight, coat condition, blood work, etc.), please see the graphic below.

Kirkwood Animal Wellness Program Overview

See Something, Say Something

And lastly, an integral component of keeping your pet healthy is a familiar phrase “see something, say something.” Meaning if you perceive changes in your pet’s behavior or appearance, call us. It’s always advantageous and more economical to address any potential issues early when corrective action can be taken — saving your pet discomfort and giving you peace of mind.

If you have any questions about our pet wellness program, please contact us.