Taking your pet to the vet can be a stressful endeavor. Enticing your pet into their carrier, keeping them calm during the ride and speaking with your vet about any possible health issues can make for an eventful day. During all the hustle and bustle, you might blank on some important things to discuss with your vet!
It’s best to come to your vet appointments prepared. Jot down any points of concern before you go and consider asking these seven important questions.
1. Is my pet’s weight on track?
With a range of unhealthy foods on the market and tons of fatty treats, it isn’t hard for your dog or cat to put on weight without you noticing. Unfortunately, obesity in both cats and dogs is an extremely common problem that can lead to negative health effects. At your pet’s annual exam, ask about your pet’s weight and whether that’s normal for their age and body type. If your vet expresses concern over their weight, discuss ways you can get ahead of the problem. Minorly overweight pets might need fewer treats, a stricter diet and more exercise, while severely overweight pets might need more intervention, such as food formulated for weight loss. By taking a proactive approach to your pet’s weight, you can prevent the more severe consequences of obesity later.
2. What food do you recommend?
There are tons of options for pet food on the market. Unfortunately, not all of them are created equal. Many cheap products use by-products and fillers or are not formulated properly for the average pet. Your vet is the best person to turn to if you’re concerned about the right meal choice for your furry friend. Tell your vet what you’re currently feeding and how much you give each day. Based on your pet’s current health condition, they may suggest that you switch to a more nutrient-rich formula or one that targets a specific aspect of health.
3. When is my pet due for vaccinations?
Vaccinations typically protect your pet for a period of one, two or three years from a range of potential illnesses. Thus, your pup or cat might get some vaccinations that last longer than others, or not get a particular vaccine at all, in a single visit. It’s important to discuss your pet’s vaccination schedule with your vet to ensure you’re not missing an important vaccine booster and putting your pet at risk.
4. Is this behavior normal?
Does your pet do a strange thing that you haven’t seen other pets do before? Even if your pet seems completely fine the rest of the time, it can’t hurt to ask whether their odd behavior is normal, or if it’s a sign of something. If it’s normal, your vet will be able to assuage your concerns. If it’s not, you can work with your vet to determine the problem. Asking these simple questions can mean the difference between early illness detection and significant health complications later.
5. How are my pet’s teeth looking?
Periodontal disease is an extremely common problem that plagues both cats and dogs. These issues largely stem from the inability to easily brush a pet’s teeth at home. Having your vet check your pet’s teeth can clue you in to whether your pet has gingivitis or more severe dental problems that will need to be addressed. Noting dental issues early can give you the opportunity to use dental treats, diets and other methods to prevent decay at home or get a dental cleaning. These can help you avoid the significant cost and stress that comes with removing a pet’s teeth later on.
6. What supplements could my pet benefit from?
Most pet parents are willing to do whatever it takes to keep their pets healthy for as long as possible. One way to help ensure this is through supplements. Because they aren’t necessary like medication, many vets won’t recommend supplements right away. However, if you bring up a potential health concern and inquire about supplements that might help, your vet can help you determine which are right for your pet. Additionally, if you’re contemplating giving your pet a supplement you found on your own, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet first to ensure it will actually help your pet and that it won’t interact with any medications your pet is currently taking.
7. When should I bring my pet in next?
Most pets only need a routine annual checkup with your vet. However, very young and old pets may need to be seen more frequently for vaccinations or health monitoring. If your pet is recovering from a health problem or recently had a surgical procedure, they might also need to be seen once or twice more to ensure they’re healing nicely. Your vet will give you clear instructions on when your pet should come back.
Your vet will be more than happy to answer your questions. After all, that’s how you can ensure the best care for your pet! And, if you think of any other questions between your pet’s checkups, don’t hesitate to give your vet a call and get the answers you need to keep your pet safe.