All About Pets

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Develop a good relationship with your pet’s vet

Developing a solid relationship with a pet's veterinarian is important to the health of the companion animal and can offer peace of mind for the pet owner. It is a pet owner's primary job to keep a pet safe, healthy and happy. By achieving a strong working relationship with the vet, and knowing he or she will be there to offer advice and treatment, pet owners can help their pets live long, healthy lives.

Pet owners are introduced to veterinarians in various ways. Vets may be affiliated with a particular animal shelter or adoption agency, prompting new pet owners to work with such veterinarians upon adopting their animals. Friends or family members may recommend vets they know and trust. However pet owners find a vet, the key is to ensure it's a good match between pet, pet owner and vet. If a vet shares the same approach to health care as the pet owner and has a welcoming personality, there's a greater chance pet owner and vet can work together successfully. Pet owners should be able to openly discuss their concerns about pet health or treatment options.

To develop a solid working relationship with their pets' veterinarians, pet owners should prioritize annual health checkups and immunizations. Over time the vet will get to know the owner and animal and learn what makes the pet unique. Familiarity with the animal can make it easier to recognize potential illnessess or conditions. Vets should see animals when pets are sick as well as when the animals are healthy so they can better recognize the often subtle changes in pets that may be indicative of larger issues.

Pet owners should arrive on time to appointments. Some people prefer early-morning appointments because the staff and vet is fresh for the day. However, appointments may need to be customized according to personal schedules. Vets who offer flexible office hours are very popular. For instance, when pet owners have a number of questions or believe they will need more of the vet's time, they should speak with the receptionist to book longer time slots for their appointments. This way neither the owner nor the vet feels rushed, and proper care can be given to the animal.

Ongoing communication is often needed to monitor the treatment plan of an animal. Vets frequently offer follow-up calls to see how pets are responding to medication or other therapy. If the vet asks the pet owner to call with progress reports, owners should make the time to notify the vet whether the animal's condition is improving or worsening. Prompt attention can alleviate pain for animals and reduce anxiety for pet owners.

Although you cannot always judge a book by its cover, a clean, organized and well-run veterinary office is indicative of a staff that takes their profession seriously. Friendly, caring staff and a knowledgeable doctor can help make vet visits pleasant.

Pet owners invest in their companion animal's health by making an effort to develop a good relationship with the pet's vet. This can keep the animal healthy and happy through the years.