Mammal, amphibian, rodent or reptile, our pets mean the world to us. They offer us constant companionship and unconditional love and we feel obliged to return the same in kind. So it’s strange that so many loving and dedicated pet owners make regular dental or doctor’s appointments for themselves without giving a second thought to the routine veterinary needs of their pets.
Domesticated animals aren’t hardwired to communicate pain or discomfort, and therefore it’s very difficult for pet owners as lay people to tell when they’re sick. When was the last time your cat told you her stomach was upset? When was the last time your dog complained of a toothache? Astute observers might be able to distinguish suspicious behavioral changes, but by the time most humans can tell there’s a problem it’s more often than not too late to do anything about it.
Regular veterinary visits help ensure your pet’s health and longevity not only by curing them when they’re sick but by keeping them well in the first place. As a trained professional your veterinarian can easily spot symptoms and warning signs far earlier than you can, and that might just make all the difference in the health of your pet. The side benefit is the more time you spend in your veterinarian’s office with your pet the more you’ll learn about how to take care of them in watch for the signs that might indicate a problem.
Regular veterinary visits typically include extensive physical examinations with all lot of human contact. Physically interacting with your animal is the preferred method of examination by your veterinarian because it’s the easiest way for your animal to tell them what might be wrong; they can’t talk but they can flinch when touched in a tender spot. Your vet may run more extensive tests if they’re concerned about anything they find, but they’re going to rely heavily on you to tell them about any changes in your animal’s behavior that might indicate an underlying problem, so be prepared with information about your pet’s eating habits or bowel and urinary functions.
But regular veterinary office visits are about more than just finding diseases early, they’re about maintaining and enhancing the quality of your animal’s day-to-day life. For instance, cats have an extremely high threshold of pain and they’re notorious for hiding any signs or symptoms, even for things as painful as toothaches or ear infections. But the more often your veterinarian sees your pets the better they’ll get to know them and the easier it will be for them to spot the subtle clues that point them in the right direction.
Regular office visits also give you the opportunity to talk to your veterinarian about the simpler things, such as the right food or dietary supplements, kitty litter or dog bedding, kitten or puppy care – even bird molting, reptile training and fish breeding. The more information you have about the health and comfort of your animal the happier both of you will be.