(CNN) — Like us, pets need to see a doctor on a yearly basis, to make sure they are healthy and happy.
A lot of people think it's just a matter of bringing Fido or Fluffy to the office.
But it's more than that.
Our pets do get sick. Sometimes illnesses can go undetected because our fuzzy friends can't tell us if they feel bad or if something hurts. So it's always good to take your animal for a check-up.
"It's important to bring them in once a year because we have one chance, one shot to uh see where that pet is in its health. To help pick up any diseases ahead of time or while they're occurring," explains Dr. Allison Fennell, of the Colonial Animal Hospital in Springfield, VA.
So what should be bringing to a vet visit?
If you have any prior pet health records, bring them.
"If we have to do labs, we can compare," Dr. Fennell said.
Also have vaccination records handy and dental records are also a must.
"You and your pet’s dental health is tied to heart health and kidney health, that's really important," Dr. Fennell told CNN.
And if you have pet insurance, it's important the vet knows.
"It will help you be able to afford the testing that is necessary or for catastrophic events," Dr. Fennell said.
A good way to be the eyes and ears for your pet.
"They don't talk, so we have to be their advocates," Dr. Fennell said.