When’s the last time you took you’re dog to the veterinarian? For some reason far too many of us fail to have our pet’s health checked on a regular basis. Dogs have always been a part of my life and I feel that I’ve learned all the signs to look out for and have a good idea when something’s wrong. If you think like that, you’re as wrong as I was.
Animals are pretty resilient creatures especially dogs and can easily conceal health issues. If you really think you are doing your pet any favors stop thinking you have them figured out. Sure you know their moods, habits and certainly you know when they are sick but do you really know why they feel the way they do?
Being able to recognize particular symptoms that may be cause for a trip to the vet can be tricky and typically not noticed soon enough.
Keeping a diary with notes on any changes in weight, eating, drinking, sleeping or behavioral patterns can be very helpful and can be a valuable source of information for both you and the veterinarian. A detailed diary of your dog’s routine can help a vet determine the best course of action to help heal your animals. There are a few smart phone apps online that can help organize your pet’s vital information. Paw Card for the iPhone is one that I use and Petoxins from ASPCA is handy resource for toxic plants. Anyway…
Knowing the particular health issues with your breed can help you focus on particular questions to ask the vet as well as determine a routine schedule to have your dog checked out. Become knowledgeable on the most common health issues for dogs as well as those specific to your breed. Write down both your questions and suspicions and have a copy for your vet. You and the vet can discuss your dog’s health with more detail and a good vet can refer back to your notes if they have concerns about treatment or medications or anything else that may help pin point the best treatment plan.
Keep in mind that for a veterinarian to provide the best possible service, you need to be the best representative for your dog.
Ask questions; be prepared to make the right decisions. If meds are prescribed or test needed be sure you are not paying too much. Don’t be afraid to ask for a prescription to purchase the meds elsewhere for less. Typically the vet will get the message and discount the meds vs. giving you a prescription.
If you and your pet make regular visits to the vet, request the office visit fee to be waived.
Investing in your pets immediate health is the right thing to do and it’s responsible for minimizing more serious health issues as your pet ages. This being the human thing to do.