Becoming a pet owner is very exciting and rewarding. However, it also comes with a wide range of responsibilities. Owning a pet does not simply mean you feed, water and play with your pet. Along with these activities, you must also do everything necessary to ensure your pet is in the best of health. Taking your pet to the vet is one of the most important steps in being a responsible pet owner.

Physical Exam

The vet will first give your pet a full physical exam. They will check your pet's vitals, weigh it and examine it closely to make sure there are no noticeable deformities. If you do not already know the age of your pet, the vet can tell you approximately how old they are by looking at their teeth. After this exam is done, the vet will want to perform some diagnostic tests.

Diagnostic Tests

This normally consists of a fecal test to check for hookworms, roundworms and other internal parasites. The veterinarian will also perform blood work on your pet to check for heartworm disease and other conditions that are specific to each type of animal. The results of these tests will determine what kinds of medications your pet may need to be given.

If the heartworm test is positive, your pet will need to be treated for this condition. However, if your pet is free of heartworms, they can be put on a heartworm preventative plan to keep them from getting heartworms.


Next, the vet will give your animal their necessary immunizations. This normally includes vaccinations for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. Your pet may also be given a rabies shot if they are over 12 weeks old. If your pet is not an adult, a second round of vaccinations may be given within a few weeks.

Keeping Your Pet Healthy

Once the immunizations are completed, the vet may also advise you as to what the best food for your pet is, how much exercise they may need and how frequently they may need check-ups to stay happy and healthy.

Spay or Neuter

The veterinarian will also encourage you to have your pet spayed or neutered. This surgery prevents a variety of different health problems such as ovarian and uterine cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. It can also prevent your pet from suffering from frequent urinary tract infections.

Spaying and neutering is also important to prevent the overpopulation of pets that has already become a huge worldwide problem. This procedure can be done in a veterinary hospital and usually takes only a few weeks for recovery.

If you are interested in this process, consider veterinary internships today!