When it comes to your pet’s health, safety, and behavior, a good veterinarian is your very best resource. A good vet will comfort and advise and provide diagnoses, treatment plans, and prescriptions. But take note if your vet engages in any of the seven poor practices below -- they may be signs that it’s time for a breakup.
Here are seven warning signs that your vet might not be the right fit.
1. Overcharge You for Medication
Your pet’s health is your vet’s top priority, but that may mean that your budget isn’t a factor in their medication decisions because your vet may have a highly trained team of support staff that may be employed to take the best care for your pet. Ask your vet to discuss cost as part of any treatment plan. In particular, be on the lookout when your vet provides medication through their office, and make sure a price hike isn’t part of this service.
When prescribing medications, your vet should discuss your numerous options for filling the prescription, such as reputable online pharmacies, so that you can choose what makes the most sense for you and your pet. This type of pet pharmacy will act as a one-stop solution for every type of pet medicine. Some pet pharmacies are online-only, but most of them have an actual store location you can visit if you want to purchase your pet's medicine in person.
2. Limit Prescription Food Options
There are many types of prescription foods available for cats and dogs. Many major pet food companies, like Hill’s and Purina, have prescription foods available.
It may take some time to hit on the best option for your pet, and your vet should be open to your exploration of that process -- not steer you aggressively toward one option over another without a medical reason.
3. Give Your Pet Unnecessary Vaccinations
Be wary if your vet requires annual booster shots since the latest research states that the majority of booster shots are required every three years or so and not annually.
Your vet may think of vaccination reminders as a good way to make sure you keep your annual appointment, but unnecessary shots are not a good idea for your pet’s health or your budget. If your vet is unable to understand your pet’s needs, then it’s always better to consider a change and look for some other vet with more experience.
Without a specific need, some vets may suggest steroids for dogs and cats just to promote a company’s products and earn a commission in return. If you suspect any such activity, consider changing your pet without a second thought.
4. Be Unwilling to Talk About Alternative and Holistic Options
A holistic vet will approach your pet’s condition or sickness by looking beyond the individual symptoms and treating the whole pet. Alternative medications and treatments are options beyond prescription drugs and traditional western medicine that may help to solve a pet’s sickness -- for instance, the use of acupuncture or herbal remedies.
Your vet may primarily want to treat with prescriptions and surgery but should be open to discussion of other treatment options as well, which are sometimes less invasive and cheaper.
Moreover, we all are aware that melatonin for dogs and cats is known to improve overall health and behavior-related issues in pets. However, if your vet only insists on medicines for health improvement and doesn’t talk about other alternative methods like diet, raw dog food, science-based foods, and home-based remedies, then consider seeking help from some other integrated and professional vet.
5. Keep Your Pet Overnight Without Checking In
Your vet should not keep your cat or dog overnight in their office without having someone check in on them. If your pet is going to be staying over, ask how the staff handles check-ins and midnight emergencies. You expect an exceptional level of care from your vet. Any friction between your expectations and reality should be a red flag.
Moreover, you may ask for the reasons why your pets need to stay overnight at their facility. This way, you’ll have an understanding of the potential health risks and their probable treatments.
6. Fail to Ease Your Pet’s Experience
Most likely, a visit to the vet is not your cat or dog’s favorite activity -- and that’s putting it mildly. Many cats yowl in distress, and dogs may also feel frantic in this unfamiliar environment.
Your pet’s discomfort may be somewhat inevitable, but how your vet responds is not; your vet should do everything possible to make your pet comfortable and ease the situation. If your vet responds to distress as though there is nothing to be done, that’s a warning sign, and you may want to consider switching doctors.
7. Fail to Explain Clearly
Whether your pet has a minor rash or a cancer diagnosis, your vet will need to come up with a treatment plan. But clear and actionable communication, whether it’s about a major or minor situation, is vital.
If your vet can’t explain what’s happening to your cat or dog using language you can understand, along with the available treatment options, they are failing at a major part of their job. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and demand clear answers. Remember, there are no wrong questions. You can even enquire about the best pet supply stores to give the best care to your pet.
Five Things Vets Want Pet Parents to Know
When it comes to pets, vets know it best. Not only this, they are called pet experts and know your four-legged friends inside out. So, we take a look at some useful pieces of advice that vets would like to give pet parents based on what they’ve learned from years of practice.
1. A Healthy Weight Could Mean Adding More Years to Your Pet’s Lifespan
Obesity can accelerate conditions like diabetes and arthritis. Pets can turn obese due to lack of exercise or over-indulgence in treats. Your pet may have a healthy lifestyle with a daily exercise routine. However, a calorie-high diet can make him overweight. Also, high-quality pet food, along with regular exercise, plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy body weight. Therefore, being a pet parent, make sure you regularly take your pets for exercise and give them only nourishing foods.
The calorie requirements of pets are very different from that of humans. You should be talking to your vet about the specific calorie requirement of your pet, as it depends on their size, age, weight, and level of activity. Being a pet parent, you can always try diets such as Hill’s Prescription Diet to support healthy weight in your pet.
2. It May Take Many Tests Before We Diagnose What Is Wrong With a Pet
Veterinary science is especially tricky because the patient cannot pinpoint what exactly is wrong or the symptoms of a health issue. Of course, you may notice certain symptoms like vomiting or decreased appetite, but these symptoms could point toward many medical conditions.
It usually takes quite a few tests before the vet is able to identify what the problem is with your pet. Multiple and repeated medical diagnostic tests are often required.
Moreover, your vet may suggest you use a water test kit to assess the quality of water you are giving to your pets for drinking, bathing, and other activities. Dirty water can make your pet sick with both non-serious and serious diseases.
3. There Are No Dumb Questions
You may refrain from asking your vet about something just because you do not want to end up sounding dumb, but this may shed some light on an underlying medical condition for all you know. Do not hesitate to ask your vet questions; most vets are glad to help.
Moreover, if your dogs or cats are on antibiotics for some months, you can even ask your vet whether to continue these pet medications. After assessing your pet, the vet will tell you if you can continue antibiotics for your pet and in what amount. Antibiotics like enrofloxacin for dogs or cats can be used to fight against bacterial and other diseases.
Also, do not be scared to ask your vet any questions about a diagnosis, medical condition, or treatment if you do not understand. Wouldn’t you do the same if you were consulting a doctor about a family member’s health situation?
4. Don’t Always Trust Dr. Google
Self-diagnosing is not the smartest idea. While there are authoritative and informative resources online that can help you understand your pet’s medical condition, you do not want to blindly use them to treat your pet.
Many pet medical conditions have similar symptoms, and jumping to conclusions and treating your pet based on this can worsen the condition due to a misdiagnosis. Your vet has the experience and training and is better equipped to understand and treat the medical condition.
5. Spay/Neuter Your Pet
Millions of pets are dropped off at shelters because there are not enough people to adopt them. Spaying or neutering your pet can help keep the pet population numbers in check. It also has other benefits, such as cutting down the risk of cancer or your pet’s tendency to wander off.
More on Finding a Good Veterinarian
How to Find the Right Vet
The Annual Vet Visit Cost: What to Expect
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.