What You Should Know
One of the most important aspects of caring for a pet is providing appropriate veterinary care. This does not mean only being prepared to go to a veterinarian when something is wrong. In fact, regular routine veterinary care is required to ensure that pets live a long, healthy life.
Your pets should regularly visit a veterinary clinic, even when they appear to be healthy. With regular veterinary visits, any health issues that arise can be caught and treated in a timely manner.
Most pets are skilled at hiding health issues or pain and they are often only found by a trained veterinarian when completing a thorough physical exam.
Plan for medical expenses
When getting a pet realize that you will need finances not only to provide basic care for your pet, but to provide necessary healthcare for them as well. Many pets are re-homed or abandoned due to unexpected medical bills that the owners are not able to afford. Plan ahead with appropriate funds (pet savings account, pet insurance) to ensure you can keep your pet happy and healthy throughout life.
Find a veterinarian that makes you feel comfortable
Your veterinarian is vital to your pet’s health, the more comfortable you are with your veterinarian, and the more they get to know your pet, the better they will be able to treat your pet. Often health issues will take more than one visit to diagnose, keeping the same veterinarian can reduce the length of time it takes to see problems develop.
Ask questions if you don’t understand something
If you are unsure of what your veterinarian means in terms of a diagnosis or explanation of a health issue, or if you want to know more about something, ask questions. Something can be easily missed if you do not understand what the implications are (i.e. if the veterinarian notes that your dog has tartar build up, it could mean you should start brushing their teeth more often or in the future the dog will need an expensive cleaning done).
Do not miss your yearly check-up
Waiting until vaccines are due is a common approach for pet owners to seek out veterinary care, however this can also mean your pet can be left up to 2 or 3 years without an appointment. Pets age quickly and should always go in for a year physical health check up to make sure they are healthy. Minor issues like plaque on teeth can quickly turn into advanced dental disease quickly.
Don’t hesitate to book an appointment
If you think something is off with your pet, it is best to book them in for an appointment or call your clinic for advice. Pets hide pain and health issues incredibly well, if they are showing signs of something being wrong they may have been living with it for much longer than you have expected. While the internet has a plethora of information, it is always important to discuss concerns with an expert such as a veterinarian.