Best Questions To Ask Your Dog’s Vet
As you prepare to take your dog to the vet, whether for the first time or the fiftieth time, you should be prepared with some questions to ask your dog’s vet. A few simple questions that you can use to start—and maintain—the conversation will go a long way toward making the visit as smooth as possible and ensuring your dog gets all the care they need.
If visiting the vet ever makes you nervous—not to mention your pup!— it can be helpful to have a list of questions ready. You may also want to bring a notebook to take notes of what they say and some form of calendar so you can prepare to schedule your dog’s next visits.
The Top 11 Questions To Ask Your Dog’s Vet
If you’re ready to write down that list of questions to ask your dog’s vet, here are a few great options to get you started.
1. Is My Dog Up to Date on Vaccinations and Tests?
Dogs require multiple vaccines to protect them against both serious and more mild illnesses and diseases. Your vet may also want to run various tests on your dog, especially if there’s a problem with their health, you rescued a stray without a medical record, or your dog is getting old.
Ask your vet if your dog is up to date for all required vaccinations and tests. If not, see if you can get them done right away or schedule a convenient time to do them soon.
2. How Are My Dog’s Gums and Teeth?
Dental disease or periodontal disease is common in dogs—over 80% of dogs over three years old will suffer from some sort of dental disease. It’s crucial that you get your vet to check your dog’s gums and teeth regularly to ensure they aren’t suffering from this disease already.
If they are, you can certainly take measures to help them. A good dental cleaning from a professional should get them back on the right track and ensure their teeth and gums are healthy for years to come.
3. Is My Dog at a Healthy Weight?
According to at least one study, over 50% of dogs are overweight. In a world where your dog always has enough to eat and doesn’t have to scrounge for food or regularly run from predators, it’s easy for your precious pup to start gaining more weight than is good for them.
If you think your dog is looking at all pudgy, ask about healthy weight ranges for your pet’s breed and age and check if your dog fits into them. If not, your vet can help you develop a plan of action to help you get your dog back to the right size. It’s important to address this issue, as obesity can lead to osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses.
4. How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?
Every dog is different when it comes to how much exercise they will need. Some breeds (like Labs and Terriers) are more active, while there are also breeds (such as Pugs and Bulldogs) that can’t handle too much vigorous exercise.
Ask your vet for recommended times for your dog and then work out a schedule to get them the right amount of exercise each day to keep them happy and healthy.
5. Am I Feeding My Dog the Right Food?
Just like with exercise, every dog is different when it comes to the right kind and amount of food. While you may have a general idea about what dog foods are best, it can be helpful to chat with your vet about the right type for your specific dog.
For example, your dog may have special dietary needs because of age, an underlying illness, or proneness to certain diseases or health conditions. It’s best to make sure you’re feeding your pup the right food now to keep them healthy as long as possible.
6. Does My Dog Have the Right Flea and Tick Prevention?
There is a wide variety of flea and tick prevention tools out there, from collars to chews to topical solutions. If you haven’t purchased one yet, it’s a good idea to ask your vet what they recommend.
Even if you’re already using one of these methods, it’s still a good idea to check with your vet about whether it’s the best choice for your dog.
7. Does My Dog Have the Right Heartworm Prevention?
Just like flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention is crucial to ensuring that your dog is safe from what could become an incredibly dangerous infestation. Heartworm prevention tools come in a variety of methods such as chews, topical solutions, and even injections.
Ask your vet what heartworm prevention they recommend and be sure to get it as soon as you can to make sure your dog doesn’t have to deal with that nasty and dangerous disease.
8. Is My Dog’s Behavior Normal?
It’s common for pet owners to notice dogs doing strange things like scratching, licking, or even wheezing after exercising. If you notice anything somewhat unusual in your dog or see them doing something that just seems weird, don’t be afraid to ask about it!
It’s best to ask your vet just in case the behavior is a symptom of a serious underlying issue. Even if it isn’t, your vet can still help you treat the issue if it’s not a habit you want your dog to maintain.
9. Are These Lumps, Bumps, and Spots Normal?
Dogs get lumps, bumps, and spots sometimes, and it’s probable that these new spots of concern are merely part of the aging process or exposure to sun. However, it’s always best to check.
Point out any areas of concern to your vet so they can identify the spot as either a harmless part of living life or a potential sign of cancer or another illness that should be addressed immediately.
10. How Can I Be a Better Pet Owner?
You and your vet both know that you love your dog—after all, that’s why you’re bringing them into the vet in the first place! But there are some things that even love can’t tell you when it comes to your dog’s health.
Ask your vet if there’s anything that you could be doing to give your pet a happier, healthier life. It’s likely that they’ll be able to give you some solid advice that will make your days with your dog just that much richer.
11. Can You Explain the Bill to Me?
You may dread going to the vet because it seems unreasonably expensive. While there are certainly several expenses upfront, realize that it’s better to go to the vet to deal with these now than to have to take your dog into the hospital for expensive treatment!
If you’re concerned about your bill, ask your vet politely to walk you through each item and explain the costs to you. That way, you can understand where your money is going and why it’s important for your dog’s health and happiness.
Protecting Your Dog
If you start with these 11 simple questions, you should be able to maintain a good conversation with your vet and learn a lot about your dog in the meantime! Never be afraid to bring up any concerns with your dog’s vet—they love your dog too!
Besides going to the vet, there are plenty of measures you can take to keep your dog safe. At Idaho Poop Scoop, we devote our time and energy to keeping your dog’s yard as clean as possible so they can have fun in the fresh air without running into piles of poop and whatever germs, worms, or parasites that poop may hold.
If you’d like us to help you better care for your dog by picking up their poop, come and check out our services today.