Want to Keep Your Pet Feeling and Acting Better Throughout Life? Your Vet Can Help!

2. Schedule regular visits.

It used to be that every year you got a postcard in the mail telling you it was time for your pet’s annual vaccinations. This was considered by some to be the veterinary equivalent of a lube, oil, and filter reminder for your vehicle. Now the recommendation from many practices is that you schedule your pet for twice-yearly wellness visits, at which time the veterinary healthcare team will work with you to decide which, if any, vaccinations are needed and what other services or testing might benefit your pet. Remember, visiting every 6 months is like every 1-and-a-half to 2 years for a human, since pets age so much faster. Talk to your vet about how often your fur baby needs a checkup.

3. Religiously follow preventive healthcare recommendations.

Not to sound preachy, but there’s a reason it was the “10 Commandments” and not the “10 Suggestions.” When the veterinary healthcare team recommends you use a parasite control product monthly, have your pet vaccinated, reduce the amount of food you’re feeding by 10%, or provide your pet with some type of daily oral healthcare, for instance, there are good reasons. Just know that many pet parents can have problems doing some of these tasks, so if you’re struggling, please don’t feel guilty or be too embarrassed to ask your veterinary team for help.

4. Plan for veterinary expenses.

You need to think of pet healthcare like you do other budgeted items such as your mortgage, car payment, cell phone bill, or human health insurance premiums. Pet health insurance, wellness plans available at many veterinary practices, or money diligently set aside each month for future veterinary expenses are all good options. (In my experience, the vast majority of pet parents don’t feel the need to save for pet care, or they do, but it gets robbed for another unplanned expense.)


Finally, consider that while you can decide when and how often you see your own doctor or dentist, your pet has no choice — and no voice! He relies entirely on you to find a veterinarian you trust and then make sure he sees that veterinarian regularly. Please don’t turn your back on that responsibility. Your pet is counting on you.

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