If You Own a Pet, You Must Take It To the Vet
If you are like the tens of millions of people who own a cat or a dog, then you need to know how important it is to take care of them. Pets need regular medical care just like people do, so if you are a pet owner, you need to understand the importance of regular visits to the veterinarian.
Whether you get your pet as a baby or adopt an older dog or cat, one of the first things you should do is schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to get the animal checked out and to have any necessary vaccines given. Puppies need a series of shots every three to four weeks until they are 16 years old. They will get things like the rabies vaccine, parvovirus vaccine and others. Once you have gotten these initial visits out of the way, it’s usually OK to bring your pets in just once a year for checkups, although older pets may need to see the vet twice a year.
You might be wondering why pets need to see the vet if they don’t need vaccinations. Just as with people, visits to the veterinarian help to assess the ongoing health of the pet. Your vet also is trained to notice things that you might not, such as strange behaviors, skin problems, signs of cancer in pets and dental issues. Many people think that dogs and cats don’t need anything done to their teeth, but that often isn’t true. It’s estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats can experience dental problems by the age of three, including painful tooth abscesses. These painful troubles can often lead to the need to pull teeth.
Beyond regularly scheduled visits for your dog, there are a number of other reasons why you might need to visit your vet or an animal hospital. Pets — dogs especially — can eat things they aren’t supposed to, which can make them very sick. Dogs often swallow items that have to be removed during veterinary surgery. Emergency vet visits also can be necessary for bites or scratches for other animals, such as snakes, bats, raccoons and others.
Seeing your vet regularly is an important part of pet ownership. Taking care of your dog or cat will help it to stay healthy and live a long life.