Pet Health: Questions & Answers

By Dr. Veja Tillman

What should I look for in a veterinarian?

First, choose a veterinarian with a great reputation. Find out who your friends, family and neighbors take their pets to. Most will rave about the vet  or veterinary clinic that takes great care of their fur babies.

Second, your vet  should connect with you and help you find a balance when making medical  decisions about the care of your pet. They should guide and help your make  the best informed decision for the care of your pet.

Finally, since pets are not one size fits all, veterinary care for your pet should not be either. Consider choosing an independent, locally owned  practice. You and your pet will greatly benefit from having a vet who can  tailor the best, individualized treatment plan for your pet.

How can I keep my pet’s teeth healthy?

Schedule regular oral health assessments (General Oral Exam) with your  veterinarian (at least every 6 to 12 months). Your veterinarian can discuss with you any problems areas or concerns for your pet’s oral health. Periodic professional Dental Cleaning and Treatment under general anesthesia. General anesthesia is required to properly and completely assess oral  health, clean and treat your pet’s teeth.

Regular brushing of the teeth is the single most effective thing that you can do to maintain your pets oral health  in between professional dental cleanings. Talk with your veterinarian to get  recommendations for nutrition, treats or dental products for your pet.

How do I choose a pet that is right for my family?

First consider the following question:  Are you prepared to care for a pet in  health and in sickness? Bringing a pet into your family and home is a  commitment which, despite its many rewards, includes some sacrifices.  Financial, grooming, training, housing or just daily care, you must be  prepared for new and unexpected responsibilities.

Lifestyle. Consider the  daily activities of your family. Are you away from the home for most of the  day? Do you travel often for business or vacations? Also, consider the  lifestyle and type of the pet you plan to adopt. Does this type of pet require  more physical activity? Will the pet need more interaction with you or  family members more often? You want to choose the type of pet that will  have similar lifestyle to your own (a couch-potato, a running buddy or a low  maintenance goldfish. You decide.

Life-time commitment. Be prepared to commit to love and care for your new pet for the length of its life-time. Some pets have been known to out-live its owners. For example, the Amazon parrot often lives to eighty years. We  must always consider who will care for our pet(s) if we cannot. So, plan  ahead.

These and many more questions should be considered when choosing a pet.  Every animal will have its own set of needs for daily care, nutrition, housing,  activity and grooming. So, do your research on the type or breed of  pet you are considering before you adopt, to learn more about any  additional responsibilities that may be required.

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