While owning a pet can be one of the most joyful and rewarding experiences in one’s life, there are also some very important responsibilities that come along with being a pet owner. Far too many times, I have seen people get overly excited about the idea of owning an animal, whether it’s a dog, cat, hamster, fish, etc., without properly thinking through all the day-to-day tasks involved. From feeding to potty training, teaching obedience to buying leashes and harnesses, there are a lot of things required to properly take care of a pet. This takes up time, requires diligence, and of course, is going to cost you some money.
Perhaps the most costly part of owning a pet is the vet. And of course, with this high cost comes some differing opinions. Many people are happy to go to the vet as frequently as recommended to have some peace of mind to know that their pet is in good health. However, many people feel that the value that regular vet visits provide are not significant enough to outweigh the cost. Now, I am not here to judge anybody. I get it, the vet can be expensive, and if your pet seems to be happy and acting normal, then what’s the worry? Right? Well, not quite, there can be numerous reasons why starting to incorporate regular pet visits into your schedule is certainly a great idea. Throughout the course of this article, I will explain why using some facts as well as some personal experiences.
What Do They Even Check At The Vet?
Before we start to unravel the importance of the vet, we must first learn about what the vet does during regular checkups. This will help us draw the connections to our pet’s overall wellbeing. To begin, the vet will perform a physical evaluation on your pet, which consists of observing several parts of your pet’s body – its facial features (nose, ears, and mouth), skin (for abnormalities like growths, cuts, or bruises), paws, tail, coat (or feathers, scales, etc.), as well as other places.
A couple of the most common reasons why people take their dogs to the vet are for skin allergies and dental problems. There are many different reasons for dog skin allergies, some of the most common include, bug bites, foods, pollen, and dog shampoos. Some of the common reasons for dental problems can be from plaque buildup from sticky foods, using the wrong brand of toothpaste, or it can simply be due to genetics. This of course varies from animal to animal. Birds, for instance, are more prone to certain diseases and parasites. While they generally don’t have teeth that need examining, your vet will be knowledgeable on your bird’s largest areas of vulnerability.
Additionally, age can play a factor in your pet’s health as well. Younger pets have a greater tendency of getting themselves overly excited and into dangerous situations, whereas older pets
are less active and are a lot slower than they once were. However, older pets are at a greater risk for joint problems and certain types of diseases.
Case in point is that there are many different angles to view your dog’s health, and your veterinarian will do a proper job fully analyzing your pet’s current health situation.
A Personal Example – The Vet Saved My Sister’s Dog
My younger sister, Morgan, has been with her best bud Moose for about two years now. Moose, a rescued German Shepherd mix, is obedient, docile, and friendly. Unfortunately, Moose’s life has been littered with health problems, and Morgan has certainly picked up a lot of knowledge along the way when it comes to dog health. She swears to this day that her following of routine/recommended vet visits is the reason why she and her dog are still together today.
A few month’s back everything seemed fine, Moose was active, chasing squirrels, going on long walks, eating every crumb that dropped on the floor. When it came time for Moose’s next visit, Morgan did not suspect anything would happen. She put Moose in her car, and drove to the vet that she has been going to since she got Moose. Much to her surprise, the vet came back with horrifying news – Moose had cancer on the right side of his rib. And although he was feeling fine at the moment, the vet suspected that in the upcoming weeks he was going to begin to feel worse. The vet was right, Moose lost his appetite, lost a lot of weight, and was not his usual cheery self. As much as the news of Moose’s cancer crushed Morgan, the sight of seeing him diminish over the upcoming weeks was the worst of it.
Luckily, they caught his cancer when they did though since they had to wait a couple weeks before he could get in for surgery. The surgery went well, and Moose slowly bounced back to his normal self. His appetite returned and he is now more playful than ever. According to the vet, if they had caught Moose’s cancer any later, they might not have had as much luck. Morgan was certainly thankful that she had adhered to her faithful routine of taking Moose in to get looked at!
Hopefully You Will Follow Suit
I hope that this has opened your eyes a little more to the importance of taking your pets to get their regular checkups. Can it be costly at times? Sure. Should you still do it for the overall health and happiness of your pet? Definitely! Your vet likely loves animals even more than you do, and they have made it their life’s work to help pet lovers such as yourself provide the best life possible for our beloved creatures. No only is it important to trust their expertise, when you experience scary (but ultimately happy) moments like I have personally, you will never again take your veterinarian for granted!