TAILS asked Amy Dicke, DVM, technical services veterinarian for P&G Pet Care, to give pet parents some advice when it comes to being prepared for a trip to the vet:
1. How often should guardians take their pet to the vet?
Veterinary visits should occur once yearly for adults. Of course, puppies and kittens will see their veterinarian multiple times during their first year to receive a good foundation for future wellness. As a pet moves into his or her senior years, twice-yearly visits may allow for early detection of medical concerns. Early detection means early intervention and possibly better outcomes.
2. What kinds of questions should we be asking our vets?
Veterinarians are unique health professionals who can provide or help you find answers to a variety of questions on topics such as nutrition, medical conditions, behavior, and training. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best wellness plan to maintain your petís health.
3. Likewise, are there any questions we should be prepared to answer before a visit to the vet?
At each appointment, be prepared to share your petís behavior, activities, and habits, as well as any concerns you may have about your petís health. Many signs of underlying illness are subtle, and sharing even minor changes in your pet may provide valuable information to the veterinarian.
4. What kinds of documents should pet guardians keep on hand?
It is desirable to have a copy of important papers on your pet pulled together in one folder. Be sure to include the following information: your veterinarianís information, as well as the emergency clinicís information, should your veterinarian not have after-hour or weekend emergency service; petís registration or adoption information, including a picture; petís vaccination and health records; and microchip information, if applicable.
5. Do you have any additional tips or information?
Pet parents have the responsibility of enhancing the health and well-being of their pets by scheduling regular checkups and practicing preventative care. They also have the opportunity to enhance the lives of their pets by feeding premium nutrition, which can provide the targeted blend of nutrients that supports a petís health throughout all life stages. Benefits can be experienced in the areas of healthy digestion, desirable skin and coat quality, and immune function, which is important in the bodyís resistance to disease. Proper nutrition, training, exercise, play–and of course lots of love–will all enhance your pet’s life.
Dr. Amy Dicke received her Bachelor of Science degree in dairy science in 1979 and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 from the Ohio State University. After graduating, she worked 15 years in a general private practice in southern Ohio. Dr. Dicke joined the Iams Company/P&G Pet Care as a technical services veterinarian in 1998. She is technical advisor for the consumer relations team covering the United States and Canada.
Selected by Laura Drucker, TAILS Editor