You’ve made the effort to bring your furry friend in for their annual veterinary check-up; GOOD WORK!! Regular preventive care can go a long way towards improving your pet’s quality of life. Optimize your vet visit by asking these five questions:
1. How are my pet’s teeth? Dental health is one of the most overlooked areas of pet health. Be sure your pet’s exam includes a thorough evaluation of the mouth and discussion of preventive and dental treatment options. There are many options available to pet owners to help them care for their pet’s teeth. (Check in next month for “The Top 3 Signs Your Pet Needs Dental Attention”).
2. Is my pet overweight? Right alongside dental health for overlooked or misunderstood pet health issues is obesity. A fat pet is not a healthy pet. Everyday I see the effects obesity has on a pet’s joints, heart, and overall health. It’s important to discuss this with your veterinary professional to ensure optimal long-term health.
3. Am I feeding the correct diet? “You are what you eat.” And so is your pet!! Nutrition is the cornerstone of proper health during all stages of a pet’s life. The choice and amount of diet you feed your pet is a must have conversation with your veterinary professional. Much of what you see in advertising and on store shelves is simply clever marketing. There is no such thing as an “all life stages” food. “Holistic”, “Gourmet”, and “Premium” pet food labeling have no legal definition or regulated requirement and mean nothing. And just how much beef does that well packaged “Premium Filet Mignon Flavour” food have? “Flavoured” pet foods only need to contain trace amounts of the ingredients that they claim to taste like!
4. What conditions are common for my pet? From the moment I see a puppy or kitten for the first time, I have a list of potential health problems we may encounter. In veterinary medicine the common things are common. Your veterinarian can discuss these breed related traits and recommend preventive, screening, and treatment recommendations. These can change as your pet ages, so it’s important to revisit this annually.
5. What vaccinations and parasite control does my pet need? Every pet is different when it comes to vaccinations and parasite control. Your unique environment and lifestyle will dictate what your pet needs and does not need. An indoor cat requires a vastly different de-worming protocol compared to an outdoor cat that actively hunts. Your dog’s heartworm and tick needs in Saskatoon vary depending on your summer travel plans and lifestyle. There is no one size fits all protocol.
Asking these questions will have you well on your way to ensuring a long healthy life for your beloved pet. Be sure to ask the questions that are on your mind and seek clarification on any issues that are not clear. Our team at Cumberland Veterinary Clinic is here to assist you however we can.
Written by Dr. Mike Bugg D.V.M.