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How to Find the Best Veterinary Clinic for your Pet
For many of us our pets have become full-fledged members of our families. Like any member of our family, it is important that we keep our pets in the best health conditions possible. Whether for preventative or active care, it is important to find the best veterinary clinics for your pet’s needs.
Types of Pet Care
Like in humans, pet health is broken up into preventative and reactive treatments. Both are important for your pet's health and by focusing on both you will extend your pet's quality of life and the years they live.
Preventative healthcare takes place before any problems arise. Pet Vaccinations and flea treatments are examples that most pet owners are familiar with, but preventative care starts at home. Exercise and diet are a key step to keeping your animals healthy and pet supplements can fill in gaps in their nutrition by supplying vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in their pet food.
By focusing on preventative care you can prevent sickness and injury later on. Veterinarians can also help with it, although we think of them only in terms of emergencies.
No matter how careful we are, it is impossible to prevent or anticipate all of our pets’ misfortunes. When the worst occurs we turn to reactive care. For anything from a simple cold to an extreme injury, you will need to bring your animal to a veterinary hospital you trust.
Veterinarians will examine it and help your furry friend recover with pet medications and pet surgeries. Reactive care tends to be more expensive than preventative care, but it is a major part of keeping your pet healthy.
Both preventative and reactive care are the key to maintaining your pet's health. It is always better to err of the side of caution and consult your veterinarian if help is needed.
How to Find the Vet for your Pet
Looking for the best veterinary clinic for your pet can be an intimidating task. Oftentimes simple online searches can yield a dozen of choices in a larger city, or a limited number in a rural area. When thinking about your veterinarian options there are a number of topics worth considering:
- Is my pet common or exotic? Not all veterinary centers will treat every pet, and some will charge significantly more for exotic pets. Cats and dogs are common but Birds, rabbits, sometimes require special care. Call prospective veterinarians and ask what their policy is on exotic pets.
- Where do my friends and family take their pets? In the age of technology our first instinct might be to jump online and start searching for local veterinarians. Before you make this step it it worth asking your friends and family where they take their pets. Although online reviews are invaluable, getting a personal reference may give you a peace of mind. Some veterinary clinics and hospitals may also have benefits for referrals, including discounts. Check the veterinary clinic’s website to see if these programs are available.
- Who else can I trust? Although friends and family can be a big help when determining what vet to take your pets too, sometimes it's useful to cast a wider net using the internet as a resource. Think about using popular review sites, forums, and blogs to get information. Look at both the rating and the user reviews before making a decision.
- What are the costs? Although we don't like to admit, sometimes money is an issue, even when it comes to our pet’s health. Some veterinary clinics will charge less for the same basic services. Why pay half again as much for a basic checkup is the quality of care is the same. You may need to call the veterinary clinic and ask about the costs as some websites don't include quotes on specific services.
Types of Pet Supplements
Pet supplements can fill in the gaps in your pet’s health and bring relief in their everyday lives. Even with their great benefits it is important to consult with your family veterinarian before moving forward. Supplements are not a replacement for pet medicine and are better thought of as preventative care. Although there are many different supplements on the market, there are four broad categories to look for before considering giving supplements to your pet:
- A Good Kind of Sugar: Glucosamine, an amino sugar, is commonly agreed to be one of the most effective pet supplements on the market. Often used for joint health, it has been shown to be effective for minor pain management. Glucosamine is often found in food and treats but is more effective as an extract.
- Some Bacteria is Good!: Digestive health is as important in pets as it is in humans. Just as we’ve found in people, probiotics can improve your pet’s health and quality of life. When looking for the right probiotics make sure to find supplements that are specially designed for your pet. Yogurt might be great for humans, but the gut bacteria it promotes is not the same your pet needs.
- Gone Fishing: You might not want to feed your dog sushi but fish oils are a definite yes. Commonly used to help manage a healthy coat, fish oils have anti-inflammatory effects that can help your dog or cat with minor pain management.
- A Vitamin a Day: With a perfectly balanced diet a pet might not need a vitamin supplement. Unfortunately, like with people, this balance is often hard to achieve. Multivitamins can be an important way to round out your pet’s daily nutrients.
Use Care in Pet Health Decisions
Even with the right veterinarian and a holistic mix of preventative and reactive care, there are still important topics to consider. Below are three points to consider when thinking about going above and beyond improving your pet’s health.
- Talk to your veterinarian before making major changes to your pet's health regime. Supplements have wonderful benefits but overuse can cause problems. Changing diets might seem as simple as buying different foods, but dramatic changes could affect digestion and nutritional health. A quick consultation can save from pain and injury down the line.
- It is easy to find cheap pet medicine online. This sometimes makes people think that you can simply buy the medicine without a vet visit. Remember that you are not a health professional. Illnesses often have similar symptoms and you might accidentally buy medication your animal doesn't need. This may make your pet’s condition get worse or possibly create even more health problems.
- Don't be afraid of change. Sometimes a veterinarian simply doesn't work out. This may be because of cost, your animal's needs, or unexpected problems. Be ready to look elsewhere for help. Veterinarians will often understand and may be willing to forward your pet's records to another location.
Keeping your animal happy and healthy doesn't need to be a headache. By focusing on preventative and reactive care, and finding the best veterinarian for your pet, you can make sure your pet lives a long and fulfilling life.