Recent research undertaken by Hill’s Pet Nutrition revealed that over 60% of South African pet parents believe that they are putting their fur babies at risk, if they do not take them for their annual check-up. “Yet believing this and doing it is something completely different,” says Dr Guy Fyvie, Hill’s nutritional advisor.

Why then are so many South African pet parents missing their regular vet check-ups?

We live in a time when information is at our fingertips; literally at the click of a button you can find a ‘diagnosis’ for a symptom.

It seems the same way we approach Dr. Google to diagnose our own symptoms, is what many pet parents are doing to diagnose their pets symptoms!

Dr Barry Dallas from Hill’s says, “There is a lot of misinformation on the internet and looking at your pet’s symptoms in isolation can be dangerous. The experience of a veterinarian allows for a holistic and comprehensive approach that can never be replaced.”

Pets can be masters of disguise when it comes to hiding pain or illness. It’s also worth remembering that they rely solely on us to look after them. Besides providing good, nutritious food, affection, an enriching living environment, regular exercise and a safe and warm place to live, annual vet check-ups should be a priority.

“By putting off an annual vet checkup, we unfortunately put our pets at risk,” warns Dr Fyvie. He goes on to explain that a yearly check-up could make a lifetime’s difference because early detection of problems, means earlier intervention, and in many cases a better prognosis and outcome.

Trying to get our pets to the vet can be daunting for many of us and this is enough to even put off a much-needed visit, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Below are some tips to make your trip to the vet easier

My GSD Momo has always LOVED being in the car. She was so little in the pic

  • Be sure to take your pet for regular trips in the car so that they get used to driving and not be filled with anxiety before even arriving at the vet.
  • Bring along something to comfort them like a special toy or a blanket, that may help ease some anxiety.
  • If you are using a pet carrier, try get your fur baby used to it. They need to feel comfortable and safe when they are being transported in a carrier, so keep it out when at home, and encourage them to go into it by putting their blankets or toys inside.
  • To avoid your cat or dog getting car sick, do not feed them for at least an hour before the trip.
  • A top-loading carrier is ideal for cats, as the top easily comes off allowing for your cat to be placed inside and removed without too much resistance or stress.
  • While in the waiting room, always remain in control of your dog, keep them on a leash or in a carrier (ideal for smaller dogs), give them physical attention and talk to them softly.
  • Veterinarians are experienced in treating nervous and frightened pets, but nothing calms your pet more than seeing you and hearing your voice, so even while in the exam room know that your presence will comfort your pet.
  • Reward their good behaviour with a small healthy treat and remember to praise them constantly.

I took Momo for her check-up yesterday and she got a clean bill of health!

Dr Fyvie says that the more your pet/s visit the vet, the more comfortable they will become with the process. Be sure make use of Hill’s special offer this winter and visit your vet for your fur baby’s annual checkup.

Check out and find out how you can save up to R950 (terms and conditions apply) on their next vet visit.

*This blog post is sponsored by Hill’s Pet Nutrition*


Great initiative. I actually need to take Charlie for her annual check up. Are all vets participating in this?

Hi Anna, it’s great way to get pet parents to take their fur children for a check up. You can click the visit the vet link to see, but I know you go to the Belmont & I see they are listed as a participant 🙂

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