Your pets are like family, and you trust your veterinarian to take care of their health. However, your dog or cat benefits from the best care when you and your veterinarian develop a partnership. You know more than your veterinarian about your pet’s daily habits and that information can be helpful for your vet when making recommendations about medications and products, or when making a diagnosis for a larger health problem. Below are the top ten questions Patton Chapel Animal Clinic would like all of their pet owners to ask.

1. Why do I need to come in for wellness exams?

Just like you, your pet needs to come in for regular wellness exams. This can usually be combined with your vaccine regimen or other services to cut down on trips to the vet. These exams are important because they can help catch bigger problems before they become too severe or costly to treat. This is also an important time for you to voice any changes in your pet, like changes in appetite, thirst, or skin.

2. Is my pet up to date on vaccinations?

If you’ve recently moved or decided to change veterinarians, or have a new dog or cat, it is important to get on the same page about what vaccinations your pet needs. If changing vets, all medical records should be transferred prior to your first appointment. Also, puppies and kittens need a lot of protection from harmful diseases, so keeping them away from older dogs and cats is recommended. Ask your vet about ways to achieve this and how long your pets should avoid contact.

3.Who do I call if I have questions, or an emergency?

If you have general questions about your pet’s care, your veterinarian wants to help. Ask at your appointment what the best method of contact is for these questions. If you have a true emergency and it is after hours, your veterinarian can give you the contact number of a local veterinary emergency center.

4. How can I keep my pet at the right weight?

Your dog or cat is the happiest and healthiest when he is at an ideal weight, as health problems start to rise when pets become obese. Your veterinarian can help you to achieve an ideal weight for your individual pet through nutritional counseling.

5. How often should I bathe my dog or cat?

This answer to this question depends on what type of pet you have. Some pets only need baths once a month. If your dog or cat has a skin issue, like allergies, he may need a bath once a week. Your vet can tell you how often to bathe, and can suggest products to use.

6. Why is my dog or cat

General questions that relate to odd pet behaviors are best answered by the veterinarian you trust. Your vet can tell you if it’s nothing to worry about, or if a more serious issue could be lurking.

8. What flea and tick medications are the best for my pet?

As covered in March, not all flea and tick medications are created equal. Your vet will know what medication is best for your pet at the best price.

9. Why does it cost so much to spay or neuter my pet?

There are many factors that go into the pricing on spaying or neutering your pet. Different types of anesthesia and surgical equipment can be a factor. Also, many people can get quotes that seem less expensive, only to find out in the final bill that anesthesia wasn’t included. Patton Chapel Animal Clinic is happy to explain all costs and procedure operations upfront, and will give an itemized breakdown upon request.

10. How can I get my dog to behave?

Dogs learn the household rules best as puppies, and to get a well behaved dog, the pet owner has to be willing to put in the work. Your pet is not the only one who will be making changes to his behavior; you will have to tweak your own habits as well. Your vet can make recommendations for training methods, potty training, and also point you to professional behavior trainers in your area.