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Questions You Should Definitely Ask Your Veterinarian

February 15, 2024

Is your furry friend due to visit your veterinary clinic soon? While many of our patients prefer to stay home and take a nap, or maybe go to a dog park, your pet will be healthier if it is given proper care. Remember that this is a great time to ask questions and get some personalized advice about your pet’s needs and care regimen. Read on to find out what questions you should ask your Fort Myers, FL vet at your next appointment. 

What Is My Pet’s Life Expectancy?

Your veterinarian of course cannot give you an exact number on this. However, they can offer insight about the averages for similar pets, and also make an educated guess if your furry pal has health issues.

Unfortunately, our animals do not have as much time with us as we would like. They can have a huge impact on our lives, providing us with love and companionship, but they are somehow always gone too soon.

Can You Check My Pet’s microchip?

While microchips don’t need maintenance, they can sometimes move out of place or malfunction. Having your Fort Myers, FL veterinarian regularly check your pet’s microchip is a good idea.

Are There Any Local/Seasonal Dangers I Should Be Concerned About?

This is especially important for people who have just moved to a new area, as different habitats do present different threats. Foxtail grasses, for example, may be well known to someone from the Southwest, but they may be completely unknown to someone from Vermont. Even if you have been living in the same area all your life, this is a good thing to check in on. You may not be aware of a threat, or there may be a new threat.

What Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?

In general, it is recommended that all pets get the core vaccines. These include canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parvovirus type 2, and rabies for dogs,  and FHV-1, FCV, FPV, rabies, and FeLV for cats.

Your vet may also recommend some additional vaccines. Bordetella, even though it is not officially regarded as core, is typically recommended for dogs who spend time with other pooches, whether at a park, daycare, kennel, or other places. Lepto is another one that is often recommended. It protects against Leptospirosis, a dangerous disease that dogs can contract simply by coming into contact with contaminated water or soil.

The recommendations may also vary depending on where you live. A rattlesnake vaccine may make sense for a Texas dog, but probably is not going to be much use for a New England pup.

Is This Behavior Normal?

To be fair, there may be no such thing as a normal cat! Fluffy is certainly full of adorable quirks. Some, such as her obsession with smacking things off tables, we may never understand. Others may indicate discomfort or distress. The main thing is to find out if the health and behavior of your pet are within a normal range.

How Much Should I Feed My Pet?

Picking pet food isn’t rocket science, but it can be quite overwhelming. With countless pet food companies vying for attention, it can be challenging to determine which one is truly the best. Ultimately, the most suitable option for your furry friend will depend on factors such as age, breed, health, weight, and lifestyle, as well as any medical conditions they may have. This is a great thing to discuss with your Fort Myers, FL veterinarian.

Consider taking a photo of the pet food you are currently using. This may be quite helpful, especially if you have recently switched brands or are feeding your pet food from a company with a wide range of products.

Is My Pet Susceptible To Any Specific Diseases?

Health issues can affect any pet at any time. However, some pets are more prone to specific ones. For instance, a white dog or cat may be at greater risk of developing vision or hearing loss, while large breed dogs may suffer from hip dysplasia. Your pet’s breed and history are both factors here. (Tip: It may not be a bad idea to get a doggy DNA test if you have a mutt.)

Are My Pet’s Teeth Healthy?

Dental care is just as crucial to Fido and Fluffy as it is for us. We recommend having your vet check your pet’s choppers at every appointment. You can then go from there. Pets need dental care just as much as we do. Fido and Fluffy can’t brush their own teeth or call a dentist if something goes wrong.

What Supplements Should I Give My Pet?

Vitamins and supplements can help prevent or manage a variety of illnesses and injuries. These are not one-size-fits-all, though. For instance, glucosamine is often recommended for dogs with joint problems, while a supplement containing a lot of Vitamin A may be beneficial for dogs with vision problems. Consult your vet before beginning anything.

What Is A Healthy Weight For My Pet?

Like with humans, pets’ weight has a big impact on their health. If your pet is overweight, underweight, or just right, your Fort Myers, FL veterinarian will be able to tell you. A pet’s health can be affected even if it is a few pounds off the ideal number, especially if it is a smaller animal.

How Much Exercise Does My Pet Need

Your pet’s exercise needs will change over time. Fido’s workout needs will also depend on his size, breed, and health. What is safe and suitable for a Boxer could be dangerous for a Chihuahua! For example, a Labrador Retriever may enjoy swimming. This can also be a great, low-impact cardio workout for them. However, it’s very dangerous for other pups, such as Pugs and Dachshunds.

Dogs grow extremely quickly, which puts a strain on their bodies. It may be advised that you do not encourage your puppy to jump or stand on his back legs when he is young. Be very careful during this crucial stage. Certain types of exercise can stress the musculoskeletal system, causing lifelong problems. You should be very cautious with senior dogs, as they are more fragile and can easily be overexerted

Is My Pet’s Preventative Care Good?

Preventative care is easier and cheaper than treating dangerous parasites and diseases in your pet. It can even save your pet’s life in some cases. There are now many options for things like flea and tick control and heartworm prevention. Even if your pet has been on a steady regime for years, it is not a bad idea to visit your veterinarian regularly.

What Adjustments Should I Make As My Pet Gets Older?

It may seem like you just brought home that adorable puppy or kitten just weeks ago, so realizing that your furry pal is approaching their golden years can be a bit of a shock. Your pet’s care needs will change over time. This may mean changing his or her diet, changing play styles, or changing the bedding.

Conclusion: Communication with your veterinarian is crucial to the health and well-being of your furry friends. Whether you’re a seasoned pet parent or a first-timer, asking the right questions can help you make informed decisions about your pet’s health.

This is by no means a full list of all possible questions. Contact us, your Fort Myers, FL animal clinic, if you have any others! 

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