Dog Longevity Survey: How Important Are Wellness Exams for Longevity?

If there ever was a dog health subject that should not have any controversy over it, it would be wellness exams. I'd very much like to have seen a full consensus that wellness exams absolutely are extremely important to longevity.

There is no downside to wellness exams.

Unlike weight management which people might find difficult, or vaccinations and spay/neuter which indeed are controversial, your dog can always only benefit from wellness exams.

Here is what people who took the survey answered. 

Extremely important53.49%
Somewhat important  6.87%
Not important  2.33%
I don't know  2.33%
Other  0.00%

I am glad that majority believes wellness exams are either extremely important or at least important.

I wish nobody had checked any of the remaining options.

Anybody who cares about their dog's well-being and longevity should take them for a wellness exam at least once a year.

Many health issues can be brewing under surface long before they show up outwardly. Wellness exams are a way to peek inside for what problems might be hiding from plain sight.

Often it's not until a disease reaches an advanced stage before symptoms crop up. Early stage dental disease, orthopedic issues, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, and other systemic issues can go unnoticed. Yet, the sooner they are discovered and addressed, the better the prognosis is.

Wouldn't you like to have a crystal ball that would tell you what problem your dog might come down with in the future?

Wellness exams are almost like having a crystal ball. For example, the new kidney test, SDMA, can detect kidney disease roughly a year before your dog would develop visible symptoms. Knowing of a brewing problem that far ahead can give you the upper hand increasing your dog's longevity. And that is just one example.

We have wellness exams done for our dogs twice a year. That includes full physical examination, fecal, urinalysis and comprehensive bloodwork.

Do you take your dog(s) for regular wellness exams?

Related articles:
What's the Difference Between Annual Exams and Wellness Exams?

Dog Longevity Survey Part I
Dog Longevity Survey Part II
Dog Longevity Survey Part I Results
How Important Is Weight Management for Longevity?


  1. Layla has a wellness exam twice a year as she is getting older, I always say rather be safe than sorry. Plus if I do have any other questions then I can email my vet and he normally replies the same day. So I am blessed to have that backing me up

  2. Wellness exams have saved many of our pets lives! I agree, I wish no one had checked any of the other boxes. The fact is, pets are a responsibility. We should care for them the same as the humans in our families.

  3. Our pets are now at the end of their lives (18 and 19 years), so they see their vet several times a year for various minor illnesses or chronic conditions such as arthritis. When they were younger, however, they went every year; we always scheduled their appointments on their Gotcha Days so that we wouldn't forget. These yearly visits were instrumental in keeping both our cat and our dog relatively healthy even into their advanced old age.

  4. Agree. If you love and care for your pet's well being at all , you'll make it a priority to get a yearly exam. Nothing can replace good bill of health.

  5. My cocker, Chipper, had a wellness exam for his 12 1/2 birthday and my vet found a very enlarged spleen. He didn't have any symptoms, except for a bought of diarrhea. Less than two months later, actually today, I had to euthanize him since he became very anemic and weak. I'm glad the wellness exam gave us more time to be with him and we were able to research options to make his remaining time more comfortable.

  6. I take my dogs in yearly for their wellness exams. Theo's last one was great, but then a month later, he started having mobility issues and was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Thankfully, the laser treatments worked for him and he's back to his old self, jumping, running and playing tug. Since Nelly is 10, it was recommended that she go twice a year, but the vet said because she's so small and in good health, once a year is fine for now.

  7. I couldn't agree more. I think it's important to take your pets to get a wellness check once a year because it's MUCH easier to catch something before it becomes a problem then have a problem that is too late to fix! - Shelby G.

  8. I interviewed one of our veterinarians recently and it was shocking the number of people who didn't take their cats to the vet. They tend to go to the mobile vet units who give reduced rabies shots, but the vets never see them until they are too sick. Truffle and Brulee go the vet for wellness exams twice a year now.

  9. Yes, regular vet checks and diet are definitely important for pet wellness. That way we can effectively monitor their health. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. I believe in wellness exams for older pets and for pets that are competing. Regular adjustments and exams can head off future compromises in physical and mental areas.

  11. I'm definitely a big believer in wellness exams, it can often surprise you that something is brewing. It's not that easy to tell with pets. My dogs definitely receive better care than we give ourselves, LOL!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


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