Build a strong relationship with your pet’s vet

Metro Service
Veterinarians play a key role in the lives of companion animals.

■ Metro Service

Routine well visits are an important part of maintaining overall health for adults and children. The same can be said for ensuring family pets are thriving as well.
Veterinarians should be consulted for more than just illnesses. Their input is a key component of proper pet care. Having a solid relationship with the vet is in the best interests of the pet and its owner.
Open communication and familiarity with companion animals helps to avoid health issues before they appear, according to Dr. Krista Magnifico, DVM, and founder of Pawbly.com. Wellness exams facilitate discussion when the animal is not under duress and the general health of the pet can be properly assessed. According to the pet resource iHeartDogs.com, common components of well visits include the vet asking questions about exercise frequency, appetite, behavior, and any breed-specific issues. A vet will examine the pet, check gait and movement, as well as look at the eyes, ears and mouth. Routine vaccinations also are typically discussed and administered.
Veterinary Practice News advises taking a new pet to the vet a few days after he or she comes home, even if the pet’s medical history has been documented extensively. This establishes a clinical file and a relationship between pet and vet and vet and pet owner.
The frequency of vet visits is often determined by the veterinarian, breed and age of the animal, and the preferences of the pet owners. The vets at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine say that kittens or puppies may need to come in once a month for preventative shots until they reach 16 weeks of age. New pet parents also may need more guidance on training and housebreaking and can benefit from more frequent interactions with a vet early on. After pets receive all of their initial immunizations, vets typically see healthy pets annually for well visits. If the pet has a specific condition, he or she may require more frequent visits.
According to the pets division of WebMD, senior dogs, or those around age 10, should get twice-yearly checkups, as advised by most vets. Changes to hormones and major systems of the body may occur rapidly in aging pets, and more frequent visits can help discover illnesses, such as canine diabetes. Vets also can be an educated sounding board for facing an elder pet’s end-of-life issues.
Veterinarians play an essential role in maintaining the health, happiness and comfort of pets. A great relationship is established early on.

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