Veterinarians are equipped with the knowledge to help you care for your furry companion to the best of your abilities. They're a great resource every pet owner should consider taking advantage of, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen.
Sadly, some dog owners can't even recall the last time they visited a vet's office. And you don't want to be among those who think veterinarians are only reserved for emergencies. So let’s delve into the 10 Things Vets Wished Dog Owners Would Do:
1. Don't Hesitate to Ask Your Vet Questions
The role you need to play here is making use of what they know. In case you're not aware, there's absolutely nothing wrong with asking lots of questions to learn or clear any doubts about your dog’s care.
There are no stupid questions here, especially when it comes down to your dog's health. Yes, ask about that weird expression, dry nose, or why your pet yowls at the early morning hours. This is your chance to have those questions answered, so don’t waste it.
2. Be Honest and Straightforward—Communication Is Key
Be straightforward and honest about any questions or concerns you may have. Your vet shouldn’t judge you, so there's no need to worry. The important thing here is that you give your vet the facts. For example, if your dog has shown a decrease in his appetite, your vet needs to know that!
Before you take your dog to the vet with a problem, try to be a Sherlock Holmes and look for all the signs of what could be going on. A dropped tail, lethargy, and a stinky odor may not mean much to you, but they can tell a story to your vet which will help with the assessment. If you miss your dog’s medication administration, you must also let your vet know. The details can be used as part of a very important diagnostic tool. Even tell your vet the things that you don’t necessarily think are important—because you never know!
3. Dr. Google Is Not a Vet
Some people trust and prefer browsing the Internet to consulting veterinarians, but vets often wish that dog owners would heed their advice to not use Google as a serious diagnostic tool. There’s much more to assessing a dog’s health than what you read online.
This can also result in pet owners visiting the vet’s office when it's too late only because they were convinced by internet searches that their dogs would be fine. This is why it’s best to consult your vet as soon as you notice anything abnormal about your dog.
4. Be a Good Listener
There's absolutely no point in asking a question and not letting the professionals talk. Some people even go to the extent of asking questions and telling their vets about the advice they got from Google. After asking a question, listen carefully to the vet's perspective. If you think you may not remember what your vet says, then write it down.
5. Regular Check Ups
Veterinarians strongly recommend taking your dog for a wellness exam on a yearly basis. Sure, it might be a bit inconvenient for you, but you'll be amazed by the wonders it'll do in ensuring your dog is healthy—remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The vet checkup generally includes a physical exam, annual vaccinations, and much more. Bear in mind that preventing potential diseases/disorders is often far less costly than treating them.
6. Always Look Out for Any Signs of Illness
Vets are often surprised by dog owners who fail to take any action even after noting signs of potential illnesses. However, they also acknowledge the fact that warning signs for critical illnesses aren’t always obvious.
Look out for simple symptoms like lethargy or diarrhea, which could both warn of a life-threatening illness. For example, bowel obstruction is one of the top causes of canine fatalities, and owners may barely have any warning signs to look out for. It's ultimately advisable to visit your vet if you feel concerned about anything with regard to your canine companion, irrespective of how small or big you think the problem could be.
7. Human Medicines Can Be Dangerous
Regardless of what you read on Google, unless your veterinarian says otherwise, do not use human medicine on dogs as a means to save money and cut corners. It can be dangerous and even fatal.
8. Vets Are Not Necessarily in It for the Money
Money might be a touchy subject, especially when associated with that emotional bond you share with your pet. The reality is that these days vets can offer far more sophisticated treatments than they did in the past, but those improvements usually come with increased costs. If you can, it’s always a good idea to consider pet insurance so that you will be better prepared to pay those vet bills when they arise.
9. Your Dog's Health Can Say Much about Your Own
This is one thing your vet might not tell you. If you do several sprints each day after work, the chances are that your dog does, too. But, if you're inactive and lazy, your dog may not be getting a lot of exercise either, which can lead to a variety of health problems over time.
10. Dental Health is Crucial
It's an aspect that most dog owners overlook. Just like humans, many canine health-related issues can revolve around the teeth. Dogs depend on their mouths for many things, including drinking, eating, panting, communication, and exploration.
If your dog is suffering from dental complications, those problems can have negative effects on his overall health as harmful bacteria infects the teeth and moves into the stomach. Poor dental health is highly likely to lead to a decreased appetite, which can in turn result in poor nutrition.
Veterinarians recommend preventative care when it comes to dental health. Consider brushing your dog’s teeth on a frequent basis, in addition to having your dog's teeth checked once or twice every year. Some foods and treats also boast tartar-fighting capabilities, so consider adding those to his diet as well.
Keep Your Furry Companion Healthy by Being a Responsible Pet Owner
Your dog is like a beloved family member, and you want nothing short of the best for him, right? To achieve that, you just need to embrace the responsibility that comes with pet ownership, and a major part of that responsibility includes monitoring and caring for your dog’s health.
Veterinarians, just like our own doctors, play a crucial role in the health of our pets, and they praise responsible dog owners for improving the lives of their pets. Dropping a pet off at your vet's office and stepping back isn't enough. You need to engage with the vet, and be part of the solution if anything goes wrong. Remember, the health of your pet begins with you, and your role is crucial to ensure you have a happy, healthy pet for a long time!