Just like regular doctors, veterinarians are vital to the health of pets. While these animal doctors know how to treat all types of animals, there are a few things that most vets wish their patients' families knew. It’s not enough to drop a pet off at the vet and hope for the best. There are many things that you can do on a regular basis to keep your pets healthy and happy and to make the vet’s job easier.
1. Schedule Regular Exams
Just like people, pets need regular physical exams to ensure they remain healthy. Yearly exams help pets live longer and can actually save money in the long run by treating minor illnesses before they turn into major ones.
2. Avoid Self-Diagnosis
Don’t try to diagnose a pet’s illness. Symptoms can point to a variety of diseases or illnesses. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Have Pets Microchipped
Even the most well-behaved pets can wander or run away. A simple microchip is affordable and can help a shelter or vet locate the owner of a pet.
4. Focus on Nutrition
Animals need proper nutrition to stay healthy and lean. A complete and balanced diet can help ensure longevity and prevent your pets from getting sick.
5. Act Quickly
When a pet is sick or showing signs of distress, call a vet quickly ~ don’t wait to see if the sickness passes. Some illnesses can turn into life-threatening emergencies very quickly if you don’t address them immediately.
6. Ask Questions
A vet can’t read minds. Ask questions and communicate the level of care expected when a pet is in distress. Vets won’t order unnecessary tests and don’t know how far you will go to achieve optimal care for your pets. Ask questions and understand all of the options available.
7. Pay Attention to Dental Hygiene
Poor dental care can make a pet miserable, leading to problems with the heart and kidneys. Both dogs and cats need regular dental X-rays to reveal hidden problems.
8. Banish Fleas and Ticks
Both ticks and fleas can carry a host of diseases and make pets miserable, especially if they are sensitive to these pests. Fortunately, year-round flea control is easy and can prevent additional trips to the vet.
9. Consider Insurance
Veterinarian visits aren’t cheap. Insurance can help you pay for treatments and allows you to accept the most advanced care for your pets. By using insurance, you can take advantage of treatment options that might have been out of reach financially.
10. Small Animals Need Checkups, Too
Even rodents and other small animals need regular checkups. Hamsters and rats need regular dental exams to prevent the overgrowth of teeth. It’s easy to spot front teeth that get too long, but back teeth are often the problem.
11. Keep Medications Out of Reach
Just like children, pets are notorious for finding things and gobbling them down or putting them in their mouths. Keep both over-the-counter and prescription medications out of reach of pets to avoid overdose or illness.