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Regular vet visits are important for a healthy pup. Your veterinarian can help you with everything from suggesting a new diet for your dog to helping you control your dog’s marking behavior. Vets have had specialized training so they can offer tips on ways to give your furry friend the best life. Take advantage of their knowledge by asking questions during the next vet visit. Here are seven questions to ask your veterinarian about your dog to get you started.
1. Could my puppy have any diseases?
Even when you’ve selected your puppy very carefully, sometimes the breeder, pet store, or shelter unknowingly gives you a pup that has an illness you can’t see (such as a gastrointestinal disease or heartworms). So during your first vet visit with your new puppy (or adult dog), you’ll want to ask your vet if it’s possible the pup has a disease that may or may not be showing symptoms. Your veterinarian can test for fleas and other skin parasites, gastrointestinal parasites, respiratory issues, and heartworms. This initial exam with your vet is crucial for detecting any health issues early on so they can be treated before they become life-threatening.
2. When will the barking and howling at night stop?
Young puppies are used to sleeping with their littermates, so sleeping alone is a big transition for them. As they adjust, they may howl, bark, or whine from their kennel. This will typically last only a few days, especially if you help them transition by giving them soft blankets or stuffed toys to sleep with. They’ll commonly still whine or bark during the potty-training time, but if you notice they simply want to play when you get them out to go potty, it could be time to train them to sleep through the night.
At your next vet visit, ask your veterinarian for tips on how to tell what your barking dog needs and how you can train them to sleep through the night. They’ll be able to help you pinpoint what your pup wants or needs and give you training techniques.
3. Which vaccinations do you recommend?
Vaccinations have been and will continue to be a topic of controversy. Whether discussing people or pets, some people are for vaccines and others are against them. If you’re not sure whether your puppy needs to be vaccinated, ask your vet’s opinion.
While they will likely recommend common vaccines, some vaccines (such as the rabies vaccine) are required by state law. Your local veterinarian can help you know which vaccines your pup will need based on where you live, his health history and genetics, his age, and his lifestyle (such as whether he will live mostly outdoors or whether he’ll go to doggy daycare while you’re at work).
4. Can you provide a tailored nutrition/diet plan?
Even if your dog isn’t having weight issues, asking your veterinarian about your pup’s diet can help him live a long, healthy life. The vet will examine your furry friend’s current health, lifestyle, age, and other underlying factors to come up with the types and brands of food that he should be eating. They’ll often recommend foods with real ingredients, such as chicken or fish, and caution you to stay away from foods with preservatives, additives, and animal by-products. Just as proper nutrition is essential for growing kids and adults, foods high in nutrients can help puppies and adult dogs live their best lives.
5. When should I schedule dental cleanings for my dog?
About 80% of dogs over the age of three years have some form of dental disease. Unfortunately, pet owners often neglect to care for their pup’s teeth at home and rarely (if ever) schedule a professional dental cleaning appointment. Poor dental hygiene leads to periodontitis, leading to heart, liver, and kidney issues if left untreated.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to schedule your furry friend’s dental appointment, ask your veterinarian. They can let you know if your pup is ready for it and reassure you that the procedure is safe. Plus, they can give you an estimate of the cost of having a dental cleaning done at their office.
6. Does my dog need Flea/Tick medication?
Protecting your dog from flea and tick bites can save them from contracting deadly diseases. If you’re not sure which kind of medication for fleas and ticks is right for your pet, you can ask your veterinarian for advice. They’ll help you decide if topical or oral medications are best for your pet’s lifestyle.
7. Should I microchip my dog?
As much as we wish we could prevent it, sometimes puppies and dogs get away from us. They dig under or jump over the fence, they pull the leash out of our hands, or they slip out of their collars. It’s a terrible experience (for both us and our pets), but we need to be prepared in the event that it happens.
One way pet owners can be prepared for escaped dogs is by having their pets microchipped. The microchip is placed under the dog’s skin, similar to how they are given a vaccine. Vet offices and shelters can then scan lost dogs and pull up the owner’s information. A microchip can reunite humans and pets, even if the dog slipped out of its collar or lost its tag.
Your veterinarian can help you decide when it’s the right time for you to get your puppy microchipped. They can also explain the procedure, so you’ll feel comfortable having your pet microchipped.
Ask Your Vet
Your local veterinarian has a lot of knowledge and insight they can share with you. Any time you want more information about your dog, don’t hesitate to ask questions. The seven questions above can help you get the conversation started, but, of course, there are so many others that you may be burning to ask, such as if pet insurance is right for you and your dog.
Vet visits are important for properly caring for your dog’s health and getting all your pet parent questions answered, but they can get expensive. Let Odie Pet Insurance help you cover the costs of veterinary treatments and exams. Sign up for one of our policy plans today!