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Questions You Should Ask Your Veterinarian

February 15, 2024

Have your pets visited your veterinary clinic recently? Many of our patients would probably prefer to skip their appointments and stay at home and nap, or maybe go to the dog park. However,   your pet will be much healthier with proper care. Those appointments offer a ‘pawesome’ chance to get some personalized advice about the care regimen your pet needs. In this article, a local Galena, MD vet offers some questions you might want to ask your pet’s doctor.

What Illnesses Or Diseases Is My Pet At Risk Of?

Some pets do have elevated risks of developing specific health problems.  For instance, white dogs and cats may be more susceptible to vision and hearing loss, whereas big dogs may be at risk for hip dysplasia. If you have a mutt, consider getting Fido a doggy DNA test. This can help reveal any health conditions he may be at risk of.

Is My Pet At A Healthy Weight?

Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your pet is overweight, underweight, or just right. Chubby pets may be cute, but extra weight puts their health and well-being at risk, just as it does with people. Your beloved pet’s health can be adversely affected even if it is just a few pounds over its ideal weight.

Is My Pet Current On Required Vaccinations?

It is generally recommended that all pets receive the core vaccines, which include canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parvovirus type 2, and rabies for dogs,  and FHV-1, FCV, FPV, rabies, and FeLV for cats.

While Bordetella is not considered a core vaccine, it is almost always recommended for dogs that spend time with other puppies at parks, daycares, kennels, or other places. Lepto is another vaccine that is often recommended. It protects against Leptospirosis, a deadly disease that pets can contract just by touching soil or water that has been contaminated.

Your local environment is also an essential factor here. A Texas dog may benefit from a rattlesnake vaccine, but a New England pup may not have any need for it.

Is My Pet’s Behavior Normal? Or At Least Somewhat Normal?

This one may be a loaded question as far as our feline buddies are concerned. Fluffy might be obsessed with your bunny slippers or insist on eating your wallpaper. These kinds of quirks are really quite common among kitties. The most important thing is to find out whether your furry friend is within what is considered a standard range of healthy behavior.

Should I Change My Pet’s Diet?

Nowadays, selecting the best food for your pet can be challenging. There are countless pet food companies competing for your attention, so you may not know which product is right for your furry best friend.

What is the right choice? This depends on many factors, such as your animal companion’s age, breed, health, weight, and lifestyle, as well as any medical conditions they may have. This is definitely something to consult your Galena, MD veterinarians about.

It may be helpful to take a photo of the current pet food you are using, especially if you’ve recently changed brands or are trying various options from a brand with multiple options.

Are My Pet’s Teeth Healthy? 

Dental issues are just as dangerous for pets as they are for us. We recommend having your vet check your pet’s choppers at every checkup. Our furry pals can’t brush their own teeth or call a dentist if something is wrong.

What Supplements Should I Give My Pet?

Vitamins and supplements can help your pet cope with a variety of illnesses and injuries. It is common for dogs with joint problems to be given glucosamine, while dogs with vision problems may benefit from a supplement containing a lot of Vitamin A. Before starting anything new, consult your veterinarian. You must choose the right supplement. If you offer the wrong thing or the wrong amount, you could do more harm than good.

Does My Pet Need Any Additional Preventative Care?

You can’t beat the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. Protecting your pet against parasites and diseases is always easier and cheaper than treating them. In some cases, preventative care can even save pets’ lives! Even if your furry bestie has been on a steady regimen for years, it’s a good idea to check back with your vet on this regularly, since new threats and products are emerging all the time.

Is My Pet’s Grooming Routine Okay?

We love our animal companions, but they look and feel better when they are well cared for. A dog with a short, sleek coat may only require occasional baths, while a fluffy pup may require frequent baths. There’s no one-size-fits-all beauty regimen for pets.

The care of your pets’ nails is also important. Some pets may need ear, eye, and medical grooming, such as anal gland expression. Birds may need their wings or beaks trimmed.

Don’t just ask how often you should bathe your pet, but also what combs, brushes, shampoos, and haircuts you should use.

What Adjustments Should I Make As My Pet Ages?

Our furry friends bring so much love and laughter into our lives. They stay loyally with us no matter what curveballs life throws our way, offering us unwavering affection and loyalty. Sadly, their time with us is limited. It can be a surprise when we realize that our beloved pets are entering their golden years – it feels like just yesterday they were tiny balls of fluff or fur. As your pet ages, their needs will also change, and you must adapt accordingly. This could involve adjusting their food, playtime routine, or bedding.

Do You Have Any Recommendations For Services?

It never hurts to ask your veterinarian for recommendations for a kennel, groomer, trainer, or dog walker. They may be able to match you up with a great one! In any case, it never hurts to ask. 

Could You Check My Pet’s Microchip?

There is no maintenance required for microchips, but they can sometimes move out of place or malfunction. You should have your veterinarian check it periodically. Remember to keep your records updated as well.

Do I Need To Be Aware Of Any Local Or Seasonal Dangers?

It is important to ask this question if you have recently moved from one environment to another. A person from the Southwest might know about Foxtail grasses, but someone from Vermont may not. This is still a good thing to check in with, even if you have lived in the same area all your life. You might not be aware of a new threat.

In order for your animal companion’s health and well-being to be optimal, you must communicate with your vet. No matter if you’re an experienced pet parent or a first-time pet parent, it’s important to ask the right questions about your pet’s health so you can make informed decisions.

Of course, that’s just a few possible questions you may want to ask. Feel free to contact us, your Galena, MD animal clinic, if you have any others!  We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care. 

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