10 Questions to Ask Your New Veterinarian

Did you get a new pet and need to find a veterinarian? Or maybe you moved to a new town and have to look for a new vet. There are lots of reasons why we might be in the market for a new veterinary practice to take care of our companion animals. But whether you’re a first-time pet owner or have cared for animals all your life, there are a few key questions you should be asking any new vet. We’ve gathered the best advice from the experts on what to ask a prospective vet:

1.What services are available at the practice? This includes things like X-ray and ultrasound, lab work, and EKG.

2. How does the vet handle emergencies? Some will take your call outside of office hours, some won’t. If they don’t, what emergency clinics do they recommend?

3. What is their vaccination “policy” in terms of what they think is essential vs. optional, and will they accommodate your preferences?

4. Does the practice recommend that you get pet insurance?

5. Do they have specialists on staff if they are large, or a good referral network of specialists if they are small?

6. What is the average time it takes to get an appointment? A few hours or a few days?

7. Do they have overnight care? Is there a staff member on-site 24 hours a day? Many practices, especially small ones, will not have this.

8. Do they have separate waiting rooms, exam rooms, and kennel areas for dogs and cats to reduce your pet’s stress?

9. What are their prices for typical procedures like dentals, annual check-ups, spay/neuter, and vaccinations?

10. Do they have payment plans, flexible payment schedules, or any special discounts for multiple-pet clients?

 

April 9-15 is National Animal Care & Control Appreciation Week

What month has more animal awareness events than April? Not only is it Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, but there are also many other pet health and well-being awareness activities going on as well. Pet first aid awareness, heartworm and Lyme disease prevention, dog bite prevention, pet ID awareness…to name just a few.

But this week gives us all a chance to thank the hard-working animal care and control professionals in our communities for the dedicated work they do (in often difficult conditions) to help pets in need. National Animal Care & Control Appreciation Week is an opportunity to recognize the people who save the lives of trapped and injured animals, and rescue abused and neglected pets in sad living situations.

Be sure to say “thank you” the next time you see an animal control officer trying to catch a runaway dog streaking through your neighborhood! You can check out the website of the National Animal Care & Control Association to learn more about what these professionals do in your town.

 

Images via the NACA Facebook page.

 

Ohio State University’s Indoor Pet Initiative Advocates for Your Pet’s Well-Being

Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has a great program called the Indoor Pet Initiative, which was created to enhance the health and welfare of our companion animals so that our pets can enjoy optimal well-being and thrive in a safe indoor environment.

As a non-profit that assists pet owners with emergency veterinary care, we have seen many sad cases in which cats and dogs allowed to roam outdoors have experienced life-threatening injuries from incidents like being hit by a car or being attacked by another animal.

The Indoor Pet Initiative provides a ton of information for both veterinarians and pet owners to ensure that our dogs and cats live long, healthy, and happy lives. What kind of information? Cat owners can learn about how to enrich the environments of indoor cats, as well as gain a greater understanding of what makes our cats tick. You can learn about how to solve common behavioral problems and identify stressors in your cat’s environment. They also have great information on the importance of microchipping your cat. Cat information is also available in Spanish!

For dog owners, you can check the website for lots of information on how to care for your dog from puppyhood to old age, including environmental enrichment techniques. Whether you have questions about crate training your puppy, introducing your dog to a new baby, or understanding your dog’s cognitive changes as she ages, you’ll find answers here.

Remember, along with spay/neuter, keeping your pet safely indoors is one of the most important things you can do to reduce the number of homeless animals in your community and improve your own pet’s quality of life.

 

Dog Rescued from 30 Foot Well in Malibu

This amazing dog rescue story luckily has a happy ending, but it does serve as a timely reminder that it’s always a good idea to keep your dog on leash when out for a hike.  A dog named Lucy was in the hills outside of Malibu when she feel down a deep well.  It took the Los Angeles County Fire Department several hours to rescue her, but fortunately the rescue operation was a success.  Here’s a local news video from the rescue scene:

 

A Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month Reading List

April 1st marks the beginning of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, one of the best-known animal awareness events. There are lots of ways you can help prevent animal cruelty…volunteering at your local shelter, donating to an animal charity, or helping to raise awareness about animal welfare issues through social media…to name just a few.

Here’s another great way to mark the occasion, and catch up on some reading, too! We’ve gathered some of the best books about animal welfare and put together a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month reading list. Click on each title to learn more about the books on the website Goodreads.

The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America – A history of the American animal welfare movement, from the 1800s to the 1950s.

A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray – An award-winning children’s book about the lives of homeless pets.

Animal Liberation – The original (and many say still the best) book of the animal rights movement. A must read.

Born Free: A Lioness of Two Worlds – The classic story of Elsa the lioness, first published in 1960, but still guaranteed to make you cry.

Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals – This book covers a whole range of issues, from fashion, to circuses, to animal testing…and more.

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption – An uplifting and heartwarming follow-up to a very sad animal abuse story.

Until Every Animal is Free – An overview of the animal liberation movement.

The Plague Dogs – The story of two dogs that escape a cruel animal testing lab, by the author of Watership Down.