10 Touchy Topics to Discuss With Your Vet

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Don't be afraid to discuss sensitive subjects like weight, diet and managing behavior issues with your veterinarian.

We veterinarians are always happy to talk to you about your pet’s health and answer questions about his care. That’s what we’re here for, after all.

But sometimes there are difficult or awkward issues that need to be discussed. We might be uncomfortable bringing up these topics ourselves, especially if we’re not sure there’s a problem, but we can guarantee you that we are happy to talk about them if you introduce the subjects. We never want you to feel as if you can’t discuss concerns with us, especially if your animal’s welfare is at stake. Keep the lines of communication open, and you, your pet and your veterinarian will all benefit.

We Need to Talk

A second opinion. If your pet has cancer or an unusual disease that requires special knowledge or equipment to treat, your general-practice veterinarian will likely consult with or refer you to a veterinary specialist. However, if this doesn't happen and you feel as though your pet isn’t making the progress he should be, don’t be shy about asking for a second opinion. A good veterinarian knows that your pet’s care is your first responsibility and will understand your desire to get the best treatment information possible.

Money. We know that money is a concern for pet owners, even when times are good. It’s our goal to give your dog or cat the best care, but we also respect your budget. Hear us out as we make our recommendations and then let us help you prioritize diagnostics or treatments, if necessary, to help you stay within your spending limits. We may also be able to help you apply for a no-interest or low-interest CareCredit card or suggest other options to help you cover your pet’s veterinary care.

Diet. I feed my pets a high-quality commercial diet, and I hope you do as well. If you prefer a home-cooked or raw diet, however, talk to your veterinarian about its components. He or she can help you find a veterinary nutritionist who will work with you to make sure you’re feeding a complete and balanced diet.

Weight. It’s difficult to tell people their pets are on the hefty side. Often, they don’t believe us. If you ask us, though, we’ll be glad to help you assess your dog's or cat’s body condition and determine whether he needs to shed a few pounds. And it’s always a good idea to check with us before your pet begins an exercise or weight loss plan, to be sure he doesn’t run the risk of injury or illness from working out too hard or not eating enough.

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