Now that you’ve added a new furry addition to your home, you have assumed a whole slew of new responsibilities. One of your greatest responsibilities as a puppy or kitty owner is to find the proper vet care for your pet.
Puppies need to be seen by the veterinarian almost immediately after you bring them home. Therefore, you may want to start your search for a veterinarian before you even finalize the adoption process.
Finding the Right Veterinarian
Just as you probably chose your own health care provider based on their qualifications and personality, you will want to do the same for your pet’s main health care provider. Your veterinarian will become an important resource and ally while you are raising your new pet. You will want to work with an educated, qualified and highly-skilled individual who truly cares about the health and well-being of your pet.
Start your search by asking family and friends for recommendations on quality vet care. These trusted people will be able to provide you with first-hand experiences and references. Use the information to narrow down the choices in your area. You can find local vets by entering your zip code or city in localvets.com. You might also want to reference the American Animal Hospital Association website.
Visit the various veterinary offices that you are interested in taking your dog to for wellness visits and treatment. Observe the facility you are in, and note its cleanliness and overall organization. Take note of how the staff members treat pet parents and the animals.
Take time to interview the vet, and make sure you feel comfortable and welcome there. You should feel free to ask questions about the facility, the equipment and the philosophy of the organization. You will want to work with a veterinarian who you feel you can communicate with openly.
Pet Care Costs
Like any health care costs, vet care can seem expensive. Many veterinarians offer puppy wellness packages to start your new dog on its first round of vaccines. However, you also will want to be prepared financially in the case of an emergency.
Experts today recommend investing in pet health insurance for your new furry family member. Plans vary depending on the provider, but pet health insurance can save you thousands of dollars should the need for emergency care arise. Some insurance plans cover regular wellness visits and sick visits as well as emergency handling and surgeries. Other plans strictly provide coverage for unforeseen emergency circumstances.
You can help keep health care costs down by routinely taking your canine or feline companion to the vet for wellness visits. These check-ups allow the veterinarian to check for any signs of potential health issues, as well as address any underlying issues in your pet before they become a larger, more expensive problem. Your puppy will visit the vet several times during its first year of life, and typically will go to the vet once a year after that.
Vaccinations are a vital part of vet care for your new family member. A new puppy and kitten’s immune system is still developing, and it needs protection. In addition, pets in certain areas of the country require certain vaccines based on the environment in those areas. These are called non-core vaccines.
Spaying and Neutering
Unless you intend to breed your new puppy, most veterinarians will recommend that you have your puppy spayed if she is a female, or neutered if he is a male. A healthy male puppy can be neutered as early as 8 weeks old, but some veterinarians may wait until he is between the ages of 4 and 6 months. Female puppies should be spayed before they experience their first heat cycle.
There are many reasons that it is important to consider spaying or neutering your new puppy. Some of the most common reasons to have this surgical sterilization procedure performed are as follows:
• Spaying and neutering helps to control the animal population. Every year, thousands of dogs and cats across the country have to be euthanized simply because they do not have a home.
• A male dog that is neutered exhibits much better behavior throughout its lifetime. It will not be as aggressive, and it will not have a tendency to mark its territory.
• The surgery is cost-effective for pet parents. While the surgery itself costs money upfront, you will save money in the long run by not having to care for unplanned puppies.
Spaying and Neutering Procedure
Once you have scheduled your spay or neuter procedure, be sure to ask your veterinarian about preparing your new puppy for the surgery. Depending on the puppy’s age, your vet may ask you to withhold any meals from the dog after midnight the day prior to the operation. However, most puppies are able to drink water leading up to the surgery.
After the operation is complete, your veterinarian will provide you with post-operative care instructions. Be sure to bring your puppy home and give it a quiet, comfortable space to rest. While your new puppy will have lots of energy, you will want to discourage it from running around and jumping up and down. Check the incision occasionally and try to prevent your dog from licking its wound. If you are concerned about any signs your dog is experiencing after the operation, contact your veterinarian’s office immediately.
Emergency Vet Care
Once you have your new puppy home, you will want to talk with your primary veterinarian about qualified emergency veterinary hospitals in the area. You will want to have the name, number and location of an emergency facility in a prominent place in your home, should you find yourself in an emergency situation with your pet.
Signs that your pet may need emergency care include:
• Weak pulse
• Rapid heart rate and breathing
• Difficulty moving or standing
• Inability to move
• Uncontrollable bleeding
• Pale gums
Specialty Vet Care
There is a chance your dog could show signs of a condition that requires the attention of a veterinary specialist. If this situation arises, your primary veterinarian will likely refer you to a specialist that he or she knows and trusts.
Types of veterinary specialists include:
• Behavior specialists
Ask your vet why a specialist is needed, and make an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. When you visit the specialist, bring a copy of all of your dog’s medical records so the specialist knows your dog’s entire medical history. Note that the specialist will probably perform several tests and may create a plan of action for your dog. You are welcome to consult with your primary veterinarian about this information and work together to decide the best course of action for your pet.
Finding the right pet care professional for your furry friend is important for their overall well-being. Adding a nutritious pet supplement to their daily routine can also help improve their health. Learn how the human-grade natural supplements created by NuVet Labs can help improve the quality of life for your feline and canine companion at http://nuvetonline.com/.
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