What Questions Should Pet Parents Ask Their Vets

Part of being a pet parent includes taking your furry companions to the vet. While this experience may be a stressful one for you and your pets, a visit to the vet is essential to ensure that they are healthy. For most people, a trip to the vet once or twice a year is sufficient. Whenever you do decide to take your pets for a check-up, here are ten things that you should definitely be asking your vet.

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1. Is My Pet at a Healthy Weight?

While it may be tempting to overfeed your beloved pets and shower them with treats, weight management is something all pet owners should be concerned about. The health risks for obese or overweight dogs are very serious, and should not be ignored.

Here are some of the problems that excess weight can cause:

  • Diabetes
  • Reproductive problems
  • Heightened risk of cancer
  • Decreased liver function
  • Problems with hip, joints, and ligaments
  • Breathing Problems
  • Heart disease
  • Decreased stamina
  • Weak immune function
  • Diminished quality and length of life

The optimum weight for your pet will depend on their breed, age, and type. Ask if your pet is carrying the right weight, and if not, what you can do to help them shed some pounds.

2. Am I Feeding My Pet The Right Diet?

Feeding your pet the right diet is of utmost importance: it ensures that they get the right nutrition in order to grow, develop, and maintain healthy lives.

Your vet can evaluate your pet and help you determine what diet is appropriate for them. Your vet should take the following into account:

  • The type of pet you have
  • The life stage they are in
  • Their lifestyle habits
  • Whether they have any dietary intolerances or allergies – for instance, it has been found that many dogs have grain intolerances or allergies. Freshpet foods (see below) offers a line of fresh foods which are grain free and are therefore suitable for pets with these intolerances
  • If they have any ongoing health conditions
  • Any other factors that may relate to your pet

Freshpet is a company that offers a wide range of fresh, natural foods, for pets. Speak to your vet about switching over to a fresh diet for your pet over one which is filled with processed foods. Freshpet can help you make the transition to a more healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet for your pets.

3. Does My Pet Need A Dental Cleaning?

Dental diseases are very common. If left untreated, dental problems can lead to serious health complications which may affect the heart, kidney, and liver. Therefore, it is recommended that you take your pet for a dental cleaning regulary, as opposed to letting the problem develop.

According to Dr. Ashley Gallagher who is a veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals,

"it is best to perform a teeth cleaning when only mild gingivitis and/or tartar are present. This will maintain good dental health and prevent disease before it becomes a problem … which in turn helps you save money and keep your pet healthy!"

4. Does My Pet Need Grooming?

Grooming is an important aspect of pet care. Contrary to popular belief, grooming is not something reserved only for show dogs or pets. All pets need to be groomed in order to promote healthy fur, skin, and nails.

Some types of pets may need a professional grooming, or benefit from having their nails clipped by the vet, since this could be tricky. Ask your vet what type of grooming is best for your pet, how often they should be groomed, and whether the grooming should be done by a vet or professional.

5. Should I Think About Preventative Care?

Certain pet breeds are more susceptible to particular types of diseases and health conditions. Preventative care can therefore help your pet stay healthy throughout their lives.

Once your vet has evaluated your pet, their breed and its characteristics, and any other relevant information, they can let you know whether it would be beneficial to carry out any form of preventative care. This could include everything from blood work or physical exams depending upon your pet and what preventative care they would benefit from.

6. How Often Should I Take My Pets To The Vet?

Due to the fact that pets age faster than humans, they may need to visit the vet more frequently. The frequency of your trips to the vet will be determined by a number of factors, including their breed, age, and whether they have health problems.

When you go to the vet, they will be able to tell you how often you should be bringing your pet in for check-ups and exams.

7. At what age will my pet be considered a senior?

Different breeds of pets have varying average lifespans. Therefore, the age at which your particular dog would be considered a senior should be determined by your vet.

When your pet reaches this senior stage in their lives, their fitness and nutritional needs will be different. Furthermore, they may need more frequent visits to the vet for preventative care in order for them to have long, healthy lives.

8. Has My Pet Received All of Their Shots?

Vaccinations and immunizations are important for ensuring optimum health and well-being. The types of shots that your pet will need may vary depending on their age, and where you live. For instance, parvovirus is more common in warmer climates and therefore pets living in such climates need to be inoculated more frequently.

The type and frequency of vaccinations and immunizations will be determined on a case by case basis. Therefore, ask your vet what protocols and timings you need to adhere to when it comes to making sure that your pets' shots are all up to date.

9. How Do I Protect My Pet Against Fleas and Ticks?

Fleas and ticks are a major problem for pets. Apart from being a nuisance, they also have the capability of transmitting a number of deadly diseases to your pet, and also to you and your family. Your vet can help you determine how best to avoid flea and tick infestations. They can also help you determine what medications can help deal with ticks and fleas.

10. What Exercise Is Best For My Pet?

Exercise is integral for a healthy lifestyle. The exact amount of exercise and the precise regime for your pet will vary depending on your pet's species, breed, age, and physical condition.

Your vet will be able to provide you with recommendations after taking into account all of your pets' characteristics.

Going to the vet is an important aspect of keeping your pets healthy and happy. To make the most out of your trips to the vet, it's important to go to your appointment prepared. Have a list of questions and concerns ready so that you can get the best information from your vet in order to help your pets lead healthy, long, and comfortable lives. If you are confused about how to prepare for your visit, join an online forum or check social media such as Freshpet Facebook to see what pet parents just like you are saying.