Top Questions You Should Ask Your Ellicott City, MD Veterinarian

Has your furry friend visited their veterinary clinic recently? While many of our patients would prefer to skip their appointments and just stay at home and nap, or perhaps go to the dog park, your pet will be much healthier with proper care. This is a great time to ask questions and get some personalized advice about your pet’s needs and care regimen. In this article, a local Ellicott City, MD vet asks some questions you may want to ask your pet’s doctor.


Is My Pet’s Behavior Normal?


This one may be a loaded question as far as cats are concerned. There may be no such thing as a normal cat! Fluffy might be obsessed with your fuzzy bunny slippers or insist on eating your wallpaper. These kinds of quirks are actually quite normal for kitties. The most important thing is to find out whether your pet is within what would be considered a normal range of healthy behavior.


How Much Should I Feed My Pet?


Deciding on the perfect food for your furry companion can be overwhelming nowadays. With countless pet food companies vying for attention, it can be difficult to determine which product is truly the best.


The ideal choice for your pet will depend on many factors, such as their age, breed, health, weight, and lifestyle, as well as any medical conditions they may have.


Consulting with your veterinarian is an important step in making this decision. It may even be helpful to take a photo of the current pet food you are using, especially if there has been a recent change or if you are trying out various options from a brand with multiple products.


Is My Pet At Risk Of Any Common Diseases?


Some pets are more susceptible to specific issues than others. For example, white dogs and cats may be at risk of vision or hearing loss, while large breed dogs may be at risk of hip dysplasia. Is your canine companion a mutt? It may not be a bad idea to get a DNA test for your pup.


What Is A Healthy Weight For My Pet?


Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your pet is overweight, underweight, or just right. Chubby pets may be cute, but extra weight puts their health and well-being at risk. The health of your pet can be adversely affected even if they are just a few pounds off the ideal number, especially if it is a smaller animal.


How Much Exercise Does My Pet Need?


Fido’s workout needs will vary depending on his age, size, breed, and health. What is safe and suitable for one dog may be downright dangerous for another. For example, a Labrador Retriever may love swimming. For some dogs, swimming can also be a great non-impact cardio workout. For pugs, however, swimming can pose a serious threat.


As for cats, well, our feline pals get rather lazy with age. You can keep Fluffy in shape by playing with her and offering things for her to climb and explore.


These guidelines will change over time. Our four-legged pals grow very quickly, which stresses their bodies. Your pet’s musculoskeletal system can be over-stressed during this crucial stage, potentially causing long-term problems. When your canine buddy is a puppy, you may be advised not to encourage him to jump or stand on his back legs. Senior dogs are also more fragile, so you will need to be extra careful when exercising them.


Are My Pet’s Teeth Okay?


Pets need dental care just as much as we do. It’s important to keep an eye on things here. Our furry pals can’t brush their own teeth or call a dentist if something is wrong. We advise having your Ellicott City, MD vet check your pet’s choppers at every appointment.


Can You Recommend Any Services?


If you’re looking for a kennel, groomer, trainer, or dog walker, your veterinarian might be able to help. It never hurts to ask!


Can You Check My Pet’s Microchip?


Microchips don’t need maintenance, but they can sometimes move out of place or malfunction. It’s a good idea to have your veterinarian check it periodically.


What Supplements Should I Give My Pet?


You can give your pet’s body support against a variety of illnesses and injuries with different vitamins and supplements. For example, glucosamine is often suggested for dogs with joint problems, whereas a supplement that contains a lot of Vitamin A may be better for one with vision issues. Consult your vet before you begin anything new. It’s important to choose the right type of supplement. Offering the wrong thing or the wrong amount of the right thing could do more harm than good.


Do I Need To Provide Additional Preventative Care For My Pet?


As the saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of cure. This is definitely true here. It’s easier and cheaper to protect your pet from dangerous parasites and diseases than it is to treat them. In some cases, preventative care can even save pets’ lives! Even if your pet has been on a steady regimen for years, it isn’t a bad idea to check about this regularly, as new threats and products are continuously emerging.


Should I Change My Pet’s Grooming Routine?


Our animal companions are super cute,  but they both look and feel better when their fur (or feathers) are properly maintained. There is no one-size-fits-all beauty regime for pets: a dog with short, sleek fur may only need occasional baths, while a fluffy pup may require more frequent baths.


Nail care is also important. Some pets also need ear or eye care, or medical grooming, such as anal gland expression. Birds may require wing or beak trims.


It’s also important to choose the right tools. Do not only ask how often you should bathe your furry buddy, but also what combs, brushes, shampoos, and haircuts you should use.


What Adjustments Should I Make As My Pet Ages?


Our animal companions fill our lives with love. They offer unconditional love and complete devotion, staying faithfully by our sides through thick and thin. Unfortunately, they do not have as much time here as we would all like. 


Realizing that your pet is approaching its golden years can be a bit shocking: it may seem like Fido or Fluffy was an adorable puppy or kitten just weeks ago. As your pet’s needs change, you’ll need to adjust their care needs a bit. That might mean changing their diet, changing their play style, or offering additional bedding.


What Local/Seasonal Dangers Should I Be Aware Of?


If you’ve recently moved from one environment to another, this is really important to ask. A person from the Southwest may be familiar with Foxtail grasses, but someone from Vermont may never have heard of them. Even if you have lived in the same state or area all your life, this is still a good thing to check in about periodically, in case there is a new threat.


Conclusion: Communicating with your vet is crucial to the health and well-being of your animal companion. Asking the right questions ensures you stay informed about your pet’s health and can help you make informed decisions, regardless of whether you are an experienced pet owner or a first-time pet parent.


As your local Ellicott City, MD animal clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

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