Top Questions You Should Ask Your Vet

Is your furry family member due for a checkup soon? In addition to an important wellness exam, diagnostic testing, and any other medical care the doctor recommends, this is also a great opportunity for you to get personalized advice about your pet’s general health and care regimen. Read on to learn a few key questions you might want to ask your Live Oak, FL vet.

What Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?

Pets should generally receive all of their core vaccines. For dogs, this includes canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parvovirus type 2, and rabies. For cats, it includes FHV-1, FCV, FPV, rabies, and FeLV.

There are some pets that may also benefit from additional vaccinations. For instance, Bordetella, though not considered core, is recommended for dogs who spend time around other pups at daycare, kennels, parks, or other locations. Another popular vaccine your vet may recommend is Lepto, which protects against a deadly disease called leptospirosis, which dogs can contract simply by coming into contact with soil or water that’s been contaminated.

Location may also play a role in which types of vaccines your vet may suggest. For example, a Texas dog may benefit from a rattlesnake vaccine, but that probably wouldn’t make much sense for a dog who lives in New England.

What Is A Healthy Weight For My Pet?

As part of your pet’s wellness check, your Live Oak, FL vet will be able to determine whether he is overweight, underweight, or just right. Even a few pounds off the ideal weight can have a negative impact on your pet’s health, especially when it comes to animals that are smaller in stature.

How Much Exercise Should My Pet Be Getting?

Fido’s workout needs will vary based on his age, size, breed, and overall health condition. What is safe and suitable for one dog may be downright dangerous for another. For example, a Labrador Retriever might be very fond of swimming, which can also be a great, non-impact cardio workout. But for some breeds, like pugs and Dachshunds, swimming could actually be dangerous.

You should be aware that these guidelines may change in the future. When your dog is a puppy, it may be a good idea not to encourage him to stand or jump on his back legs. Our canine companions grow very quickly, which puts a lot of strain on their bodies. Certain types of exercise can negatively impact your pet’s musculoskeletal system during this critical growth stage, which could potentially lead to lifelong issues. You also need to be very careful with senior dogs, as they are more fragile and can easily overexert themselves.

What Behavior Is Considered Normal For My Pet?

This may seem like a loaded question, especially for cat people: there may not actually be such a thing as a “normal” cat! It may seem odd that your kitty is obsessed with your bunny slippers or insists on snacking on your wallpaper, but those cute quirks may actually be quite normal for Fluffy. What you want to determine, with the help of your Live Oak, FL vet, is whether your pet is healthy and is behaving within the range of what would be considered to be normal for their species, breed, age, and lifestyle.

What Should I Feed My Pet?

When it comes to finding the perfect food for your furry companion, the abundance of brands, flavors, and options can be overwhelming. With numerous manufacturers out there trying to showcase their products as the top choice, it can be challenging to know what’s best for your pet.

The ideal diet for your companion will depend on factors such as their age, breed, health, weight, and lifestyle, as well as any health issues they may have. Talking to your Live Oak, FL veterinarian about this is essential.

Before heading to your pet’s next appointment, it may be helpful to snap a photo of the current food you’re using, especially if you’ve recently switched or are using a brand with multiple different products.

What Common Pet Health Conditions Should I Be Concerned About?

Some animals are more susceptible to certain medical conditions than others. For instance, white dogs or cats may be at a greater risk of hearing or vision loss, while large breed dogs may be more susceptible to hip dysplasia.

If your pet happens to be a “mutt”, a doggy DNA test may be a good idea to help identify potential risk factors to consider and plan for.

How Are My Pet’s Teeth?

Our pets require dental care just as much as we do. Unfortunately, Fluffy and Fido can’t brush their own teeth or call a dentist if something goes wrong. Therefore, we recommend having your Live Oak, FL vet check your pet’s choppers at each appointment. A clean, healthy mouth plays a key role in your pet’s overall wellbeing.

Should I Consider Giving My Pet Supplements?

There are a variety of illnesses and injuries that can be prevented and/or managed through the use of certain vitamins and supplements. For example, a dog with joint issues may benefit from glucosamine, while a cat with vision problems might benefit from a supplement that contains Vitamin A. That said, there are also certain side effects and other things to consider, so you should always consult your veterinarian before giving your pet any kind of supplement.

Does My Pet Really Need Preventative Care?

Protecting your pet from dangerous parasites and diseases is both easier and less expensive than treating them, and in some cases preventative care can even save an animal’s life! In addition to flea and tick control, there are many options available for heartworm prevention. Still, it’s always a good idea to check with your Live Oak, FL vet regularly, even if your pet has been on a steady regimen for years.

Is It Time To Change My Pet’s Grooming Routine?

Our four-legged friends are super cute. They also look and feel their best when they are clean, and their fur is properly cared for. It isn’t always necessary to bathe your pet on a regular basis: dogs with short, sleek fur might do just fine with occasional baths, while fluffy pups may need monthly bathing. Your vet will be able to advise you on this.

You’ll also want to take care of your pet’s nails. Some animals also require ear and eye care, or medical grooming, including anal gland expression.

In addition to asking how often to bathe your pet, you should also ask for recommendations on grooming products, like combs, brushes, and shampoos.

Should I Change Anything As My Pet Ages?

Companion animals fill our lives with love, sticking by our sides through thick and thin, but unfortunately, they don’t live as long as we’d like. Realizing that your furry friend is approaching their golden years may seem a bit shocking since it seems like you brought that adorable puppy or kitten home just weeks ago. As challenging as it is to face the fact that your pet is getting older, you’ll need to stay on top of their health care needs as they change. For instance, aging pets often require changes to their diet, physical activity levels, and even bedding.

Do You Have Any Services Recommendations?

Are you looking for a kennel, groomer, trainer, or dog walker? Maybe you’d like to volunteer with a local rescue? Your Live Oak, FL veterinarian may be able to point you in the right direction. It never hurts to ask!

Do I Need To Worry About My Pet’s Microchip?

While microchips don’t require maintenance, they can sometimes move out of place or malfunction, so it’s good to have your veterinarian check them periodically. If you haven’t yet had your pet microchipped, we strongly recommend you do so.

What Local/Seasonal Dangers Should I Be Aware Of?

This is important for everyone, but it’s particularly relevant for people who have recently moved from one environment to another. For instance, if you live in the Southwest, you may be familiar with Foxtail grasses, but if you originally hail from Vermont, you may not. It is still a good idea to check in, even if you have lived in the same area your entire life. You may not be aware of a new threat.

Effective communication with your veterinarian is crucial for the health and wellbeing of your pet. Asking the right questions will ensure you stay informed about your companion’s health and make informed decisions.

Do you have questions or concerns you’d like to discuss with us? Contact us, your Live Oak, FL animal clinic, anytime!

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