Taking Your Dog or Cat to the Vet

Dogs are often considered “Man’s best friend” and cats are often kept as pets for their beauty (and before that, as rat catchers). Today, cats, dogs, and other smaller pets such as birds and hamsters are popular companions, but like people, they sometimes get ill or suffer injury, and even if they do not, regular checkups and routine services can keep any furry or feathered friend in the best shape. Veterinary options are many and varied, and most veterinary options are clear on what they provide; some give emergency care, while others are more geared for general animal health services. In fact, just a Google search can yield good results, such as “24 hour vet” or “24 hour animal hospitals.” When is it time to explore veterinary services, and what can be expected there?

Owning Pets

Many pets are popular today, and aside from novelties such as ants in an ant farm, animal hospitals and clinics are needed for these pets to stay healthy. This can even be early in the pet’s life; in general, a kitten or puppy should be brought in to a vet’s office for vaccines every three or four weeks until the pet is sixteen weeks old. And starting at age three, dental health is something to watch out for; 80% of dogs, and 70% of cats, may show signs of dental problems by that age, which can possibly lead to tooth loss or chronic pain. And plenty of people are spending to keep their pets well; according to Forbes Magazine, during the most recent recession period, 92% of pet owners spend the same or more on their pet’s needs as outside that recession time. So, what veterinary options are out there, and how can a pet owner prepare for them and know what to expect?

Veterinary Services

Veterinary emergency care is the most urgent variant of veterinary options. Sometimes, serious illness or injury necessitates such a visit, the pet’s equivalent of a person being rushed to the ER. Conditions such as a broken bone, bloody stool, seizures, constant vomiting, breathing difficulty, or ingesting household chemicals, according to Web MD Pets. On site veterinarians, who are highly trained medical experts, can handle a dog, cat, or similar small pet to get them stabilized, out of danger, and address the problem. Farmers and other rural residents should note that some veterinarians specialize in horses, and these vets often visit the farm rather than have the animal brought to their office.

For more routine care and checkups for pets, veterinary options are many and varied, since there are many households with cats and dogs, and these numerous owners all need somewhere to take their pet. A pet owner can set up an appointment for routine checkups, medicine, shots, or care for non-emergency health conditions, and right before the appointment, the owner should have such information as the pet’s eating and elimination habits, past medical records, the names and does of all previous or current medications, and any recent tick bites. Vets may also require a stool sample, and depending on the reason for the visit, it may be important that the pet has not eaten too recently. Larger dogs can be brought into the office on a leash, although small dogs, cats, and other small animals should be in carriers (and birds in bird cages). Animals that do not get along well with others may have to wait in the owner’s car until ready for checkup.