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14 Key Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian 

February 15, 2024

Is your pet due—or perhaps overdue—for a trip to the vet? Fido and Fluffy may prefer a nap or a trip to the park over coming in to visit us, but those appointments are for their own good. Your furry friend will be much healthier—and therefore happier—with proper care. If you want to make the most of your time here, take the opportunity to ask us questions and get some personalized advice about your pet’s needs and care regimen. We’re here to help! In this article, a local Longwood, FLvet suggests a few things you may want to ask on your next visit.

What Common Diseases Or Illnesses Is My Pet At Risk For?

Medical issues can affect any pet at any time. However, some pets are more susceptible to specific ones than others. For instance, a white dog or cat may be at elevated risk of vision or hearing loss, while a large breed dog may be in danger of developing hip dysplasia. Breed also comes into play here. If you know what breed your dog is, do some research into common health issues. If you have a mutt, it may not be a bad idea to get a doggy DNA test done.

Are My Pet’s Teeth Okay?

Proper dental care is just as important to pets as it is for us. Of course, your pet can’t brush their own teeth or call their dentist if something is wrong. We recommend having your dentist check those choppers at every appointment. 

Would My Pet Benefit From Supplements?

Vitamins and supplements can give your furry friend’s body support against a variety of illnesses and injuries. Of course, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Glucosamine or fish oil is often suggested for dogs with joint issues, while a Vitamin A supplement may be better for one with vision problems. Always check with your Longwood, FL vet before starting anything.

Would My Pet Benefit From Holistic Care?

More and more people are embracing holistic care, or opting for the best of both worlds and giving their pets a combined method of care. Things like Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, and other forms of holistic veterinary care can be very beneficial. These tend to be cumulative, gentle treatments that support your pet’s health. 

Is My Pet’s Microchip Still Working? 

If your pet isn’t microchipped yet, we recommend getting that done ASAP. While microchips don’t need maintenance, they can sometimes slip or malfunction. Ask your Longwood, FL veterinarian to check it regularly. 

Would My Pet Benefit From Wellness Plans? 

Wellness plans aren’t the same as insurance: they’re more geared towards regular appointments and preventative care. However, they do have benefits: you’ll be able to budget for your pet’s care. You may also enjoy some perks. It never hurts to ask! 

Are There Any Local/Seasonal Dangers Should I Be Concerned About? 

This is important for everyone, but it’s really a huge one for people who have recently moved from one environment to another. For instance, someone from the Southwest may be well aware of Foxtail grasses, but that could be completely new to someone from Vermont. Even if you’ve lived in the same area all your life, this is a good thing to check in about. There may be a new threat, or perhaps one you weren’t aware of. 

Does My Pet Need Any More/Different Preventative Care? 

It’s easier and cheaper to protect your pet from dangerous parasites and diseases than it is to treat them. Preventative care can even save pets’ lives! Heartworm, for instance, can be deadly, but can also be prevented. Even if your pet has been on a steady regime for years, it’s not a bad idea to check back with your veterinarian regularly on this.

Does My Pet Need Additional Vaccinations?

Generally, the standard is to recommend that pets at least get the core vaccines. However, some pets may also benefit from additional vaccines. Bordetella is almost always recommended for dogs that spend time with other pups, whether at parks, daycare, kennels, or other spots. Lepto vaccines protect against Leptospirosis, a dangerous disease that dogs can pick up simply from coming into contact with contaminated soil or water.

Location is another factor here. A dog from Arizona may benefit from a rattlesnake vaccine, but that wouldn’t make sense for a pooch from Canada.

Is My Pet At A Healthy Weight?

At every appointment, your vet will evaluate your pet’s body condition, and will be able to determine if your animal companion is overweight, underweight, or just right. Obesity is a huge problem with our furry patients, and can lead to a slew of health problems. Just being a few pounds away from the ideal number can impact your pet’s health, especially with smaller animals.  

Does My Pet Need More, Less, Or Different Exercise?

Your furry buddy’s workout needs will depend on his age, size, breed, and health. What is safe and suitable for one pooch may be downright dangerous for another. For example, swimming can be a great, non-impact cardio workout for a Lab or Retriever, but is downright dangerous for a Pug.

These guidelines will change over time. When Fido is a puppy, you may be advised not to encourage him to jump or stand on his back legs too much. Dogs grow very quickly, which puts a strain on their bodies. During this crucial stage, certain types of exercise can stress your pet’s musculoskeletal system, leading to lifelong issues. You’ll also need to be very cautious with senior dogs, as they are more fragile and can be easily overexerted.

Is My Pet’s Diet Okay?

Picking the right food for your furry pal can be tricky. The best option really depends on their age, breed, health, weight, and lifestyle, as well as any medical issues. This definitely is a good conversation to have with your Longwood, FL veterinarian. (Tip: take a picture of the pet food you use. This is especially helpful if you’ve recently changed or if you’re using a brand that has many different lines and products.)

Why Is My Pet Doing That?

We could fill blog after blog with some of the curious and often hilarious things our furry patients do! Some of Fluffy and Fido’s quirks are just that: quirks. Others may signal medical or emotional issues. We may never be able to tell you exactly why your cat eats your wallpaper or insists on being held a certain way, but we’re happy to offer insight in any way we can. At the very least, we’ll be able to give you a petucated guess.

What Should I Change As My Pet Grows Older? 

Pets fill our lives with love, and stay by our sides through thick and thin. Unfortunately, we don’t have as much time with them as we would all like. Realizing that your furry best friend is approaching their golden years can be a shock. Your pet’s care needs will change over time. You may need to incorporate dietary changes, different forms of play, or adjustments to their bedding.

Conclusion: Effective communication with your veterinarian is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-time pet parent, asking the right questions helps you stay well-informed about your pet’s health.

Do you have any questions for us? Contact us, your Longwood, FL animal clinic, anytime! We are dedicated to providing great care and are always happy to help! 

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