In order to get the most out of each visit that you make to your veterinarian with your Service dog, you should ask lots of questions. The answers that you receive can help you to take better care of your pet, safeguarding his health and promoting his happiness. Here are 7 important questions that you should be asking your veterinarian about your dog.
1. Is there anything that I should be concerned about?
Finding out how well your Service dog did during his exam is usually answered by this single question. If your pet had a normal exam, then you shouldn’t need to worry about anything. However, if your pet is overweight or the exam showed some abnormality, the vet might suggest changes in your pet’s diet, additional tests, or a second visit at a later date.
2. Is my pet up to date with vaccinations?
Vaccine recommendations vary according to your geographic location. Your veterinarian knows which vaccines your pet needs and can assist you in making sure that your pet has been properly vaccinated. Whether or not you intend to travel or board your pet at a kennel might also influence which vaccines are recommended for your Service dog. If you have recently moved from another locale, it is possible that your Service dog isn’t up to date with the vaccines commonly given in your new location. As you know, the rabies vaccine is required by law. Therefore, you might want to ask your vet if any other vaccines are required in your area.
3. Does my Service dog need heartworm prevention?
Your geographic location and plans to travel dictate whether or not your pet is going to need protection against heartworm. In general, Service dogs that live in warmer climates need this type of protection, which is generally delivered in the form of a monthly dosage of medication. Depending on where you live, your Service dog might require this medication all year long or on a seasonal basis during the warm months of the year.
4. Does my Service dog need any routine testing for his age?
Depending on the age and breed of your pet, he might or might not need routine bloodwork. Typically, bloodwork is taken to check on how well your pet’s organs are functioning. Since breeds reach “senior” status at different ages, your dog might not need this bloodwork at the same age as another breed.
5. Does my pet need protection against ticks? What do you recommend?
Depending on where you live, your Service dog might need a protection against ticks. Your vet will have a product that he recommends. Typically, this type of protection involves a monthly dose that keeps your pet safe throughout the month. Your dog might require seasonal or yearlong dosage, depending on where you live.
Since veterinarians have the educational training and background to care for a wide variety of breeds, they have a wealth of information to share. Take advantage of that and ask for suggestions on keeping your Service dog as healthy and happy as possible.
7. What conditions or diseases is my Service dog susceptible to getting?
Since certain breeds are more likely to develop a particular condition than another type of dog, it is important to ask your vet if you need to watch for anything. Your vet will identify common symptoms if he is concerned that your pet might develop a medical condition in the future.