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In Dog Years I'm Dead!
How old is your pet in people years?

Have you ever wondered how old your dog or cat is in "people years"? Dr. Fred L. Metzger of Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, PA, has created a comparative analysis chart to show just that.

Although constitutional differences will vary between individuals, the chart serves as an interesting guideline with which to gauge the frequency of wellness visits to your veterinarian.

Puppy and kitten wellness visits usually occur between the ages of 6 and 12 weeks, at which time a thorough physical exam is given, a vaccination schedule is planned, a fecal sample is tested for parasites and diet, behavior and training issues are discussed.

Six months of age is a good time to schedule your puppy or kitten's neuter or spay surgery, during which time baseline blood work and/or orthopedic x-rays can be easily coordinated.

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Between the ages of 8 months and 8 years (breed and constitution will vary) yearly wellness exams are encouraged, offering your pet a detailed physical exam, as well as a forum for any questions about health concerns and preventative care you may have.

Biannual visits are recommended for dogs and cats entering their "golden years" (9-10 years). These important visits enable us to closely monitor the changes that may occur as our companions begin to age. A thorough physical exam can detect a decline in vitality or sensory acuity, reveal any new lumps, and evaluate oral hygiene. Blood testing can measure metabolic and systemic changes as internal organs begin to tire; or measure waning disease immunity.

Preventative care is a hallmark of holistic veterinary medicine. Scheduling regular visits with your veterinarian can help them gracefully guide your companions through the natural process of aging, while keeping the sparkle in their eyes, and the spring in their step!