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Key Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian

February 15, 2024

Does your furry friend have an appointment at their veterinary clinic soon? While it’s probably safe to say that many of our patients would prefer to stay at home and take a nap, meditate, or maybe go to a dog park, your pet needs proper veterinary care to thrive. Remember, this is a perfect opportunity to ask questions and receive personalized advice about your pet and his or her needs and care regimen. Here are a few things you might want to ask your Pickerington, OH veterinarian on your next visit.

How Much Exercise Should My Pet Get?

Generally, this applies to dogs. Fido’s workout needs will depend on his size, breed, age, and health. What is safe and appropriate for one may be downright dangerous for another. As an example, a Labrador Retriever may enjoy swimming, which can be a great non-impact cardio workout for some dogs. However, for some breeds, such as Pugs and Dachshunds, swimming is extremely dangerous.

The guidelines will change over time as your pet grows and goes through the stages of their life. If you have a large breed, you may want to avoid encouraging your dog to jump or stand on his back legs while he’s a puppy. Dogs grow quite quickly, which puts a lot of strain on their bodies. During this crucial stage, certain types of exercise can stress your pet’s musculoskeletal system, which can result in lifelong problems. Senior dogs also need to be handled carefully, as they are more fragile and can easily get overexerted.

Of course, other animals need exercise as well. For cats, this may entail offering things to climb and taking time to play with them. Birds and bunnies need time out of their cages, while smaller pets may need exercise wheels.

What Changes Should I Make To My Pet’s Care Regimen As They Age?

It can be a bit of a shock to realize that your beloved animal companion is approaching their golden years. As your pet ages, their needs will change a bit. You may need to adjust their dietary needs, play style, or bedding.

Is My Pet’s Microchip Still Working?

Having your pet microchipped is essential. While microchips do not require maintenance, they can occasionally move out of place or malfunction. Having your veterinarian check it regularly is always a good idea.

What Local/Seasonal Dangers Pose A Risk To My Pet?

This one is particularly important for people who have recently moved from one environment to another. A person from the Southwest may be familiar with foxtail grasses, but a Vermonter may never have heard of them.

This is a good thing to check on even if you’ve lived in the same area all your life. There’s always the possibility that a new threat may have emerged.

What Is The Ideal Diet For My Pet?

Selecting suitable food for your beloved pet can be overwhelming. There are countless pet food brands on the market, each one striving to promote their products as superior. Keep in mind that the ideal choice for your furry friend is contingent upon many different factors. This includes their age, breed, health, weight, lifestyle, and any medical issues they have. It may be helpful to snap a photo of the current pet food you’re using, particularly if you’ve recently switched brands or are using one with a wide range of options.

Does My Pet Need Any Additional Vaccinations?

In general, pets should receive the core vaccinations. These include canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parvovirus type 2, and rabies for dogs, and feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), feline calicivirus (FCV), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV – kittens and outdoor cats) and rabies for cats.

Some pets may also benefit from additional vaccinations. While Bordetella is not considered core, it is always recommended (and often required) for dogs that do or will spend time with other dogs, whether at parks, daycares, kennels, or other areas. Another vaccine that is frequently recommended is the Leptospirosis vaccine. Leptospirosis, or Lepto, is a dangerous disease that can simply be contracted by coming in contact with contaminated soil or water.

The recommendations may also vary from region to region. For instance, it makes sense for a Texas dog to receive a rattlesnake vaccine. A New England dog? Not so much.

Different pets have different needs here as well. For example, rabbits need the R(V)HD2 vaccine. Ask your Pickerington, OH vet for specific advice.

What Is A Healthy Weight For My Pet?

Obesity is one of the most common conditions we see in our furry patients. Fido and Fluffy may look cute with some extra weight, but at the end of the day, that extra weight is very bad for their health.  In fact, even if your pet is just a few pounds overweight, it can adversely affect their health. Your veterinarian can determine whether your animal companion is overweight, underweight, or just right by assessing his or her body condition.

Is My Pet Susceptible To Any Common Diseases?

Health problems can affect any pet at any time. However, breed, lifestyle, and other factors definitely play roles here. Some pets are more prone to specific ones than others. For example, white dogs and cats are at increased risk for vision or hearing loss, while large dogs may develop hip dysplasia. If you have a mutt, consider getting Fido’s DNA tested. The results can be very useful in this area.

What Is The Condition Of My Pet’s Teeth?

Pets can suffer from many dental issues. These are as painful and problematic for animals as they are for us. However, pets cannot brush their own teeth or call a dentist if something is wrong. We recommend having your vet check your pet’s choppers at every appointment.

What Supplements Would Benefit My Pet?

Various vitamins and supplements can help boost your pet’s health in many ways. However, they are not one-size-fits-all. If your dog has joint issues, glucosamine may be recommended. A supplement with a lot of Vitamin A may be better for a dog with vision issues. Offering the wrong thing, or the wrong amount of the right thing, can be words than doing nothing. Consult your Pickerington, OH vet before beginning any supplements.

Is My Pet’s Preventative Care Sufficient?

It’s both easier and cheaper to protect your pet from dangerous parasites and diseases than it is to treat them. In some cases, preventative care can even save pets’ lives! There are now many options for things like flea and tick control and heartworm prevention. Even if your pet has been on a steady regime for years, it’s not a bad idea to check with your Pickerington, OH veterinarian regularly on this regularly.

Should I Change My Pet’s Grooming Routine?

Our animal companions look and feel better when they’re nice and clean and their fur or feathers are well cared for. Your pet’s beauty routine should be customized according to their coat and lifestyle. A dog with short, sleek fur may only need occasional baths, while a fluffy pup will require regular baths. It’s never a bad idea to get professional feedback.

Conclusion: Our furry friends’ health and well-being very much depend on great veterinary care. Asking the right questions ensures you stay informed about your pet’s health and can make informed decisions, whether you’re a seasoned pet parent or a first-time pet parent.

Contact us, your Pickerington, OH animal clinic, anytime if you have questions! We are dedicated to offering top-notch care!