How Dog Owners Can Better Serve Our Veterinarians

  • 16/10/2021

Every dog needs a vet to have a happy, healthy life. Your veterinarian works their hardest to ensure every patient that walks through their doors leaves happy and hopeful. As thanks for all the work they do, dog owners should strive to understand their vets more and help them out in realistic ways, even if you know nothing about pet health.

1. Be Honest With Them

To help your dog effectively, your vet needs to know everything about them. You shouldn’t feel ashamed to let them know you’ve been waiting something out or didn’t think something was a problem. They need to know what you’ve been doing or avoiding so they can determine how to best care for your dog.

When you notice an issue that you don’t think is a big problem, it’s only natural that you don’t rush your pet to the vet, especially if you’re worried about the veterinary fees. When you start to notice that minor issue developing into a significant problem, you should take your pup to the vet. Be honest with them about the timeline — the more they know, the more they can help.

2. Listen to Them

When a vet tells you what they recommend, they want you to listen to them. They didn’t go through all those years of school for nothing! They have the educational background and experience to help them determine if there’s something wrong with your dog and what to do about it.

Instead of looking up answers online — unless they’re from a trusted veterinary source — you should talk to your vet about any questions you have or issues you may have noticed. Simply relying on what you’ve seen online can lead you to assume or treat the wrong ailment, which could leave your dog open to more danger.

Veterinary medicine is a business, but not all vets are in it to make money. Vets wouldn’t be in the service of helping animals if they didn’t care for them. The recommendations they give you come from their expansive knowledge and loving hearts, so when you don’t listen to their sound advice, you may notice that the issue won’t go away on its own.

3. Talk to the Staff

Your vet isn’t the only person who has the answers to your questions. Since there are typically more staff members than veterinarians in a clinic, it would be easier to ask a veterinary technician whatever is weighing on your mind if they can answer it. Vet techs may not have the same education level as veterinarians, but they are just as committed to helping pets and doing what’s right. They still know the answers to common questions and can help put your mind at ease before the vet sees your pup.

4. Behavioural Issues Are Better Left to a Dog Trainer

Your vet went through school to learn to deal with any issues that may creep up in your pet’s health. They don’t necessarily know how to treat bad behaviour. Suppose your pup begins to act in a concerning way, like suddenly becoming aggressive toward other dogs or family members. In that case, it’s best to take your concerns up with a dog trainer who specialises in the exact behaviour you’re worried about.

Your vet may have a baseline understanding of the behavioural issue you’re dealing with. They may give you some advice, but you should refer to a trainer for more in-depth and specific advice. Potty training your new puppy won’t require the same type of teaching as battling food aggression.

You must give your dog the absolute best care, so choose your veterinarian for their healing abilities and your dog trainer for their teaching abilities. Your vet may even be able to recommend the right trainer to fit your needs.

5. Know Your Vet Can’t Fix Everything

As much as they want to, veterinarians can’t fix everything that ails your pup. Your dog may struggle with something that’s out of your vet’s league. Just like humans, animals can rely on veterinary specialists to help them with issues that a general practitioner may not know how to handle. If your dog has a more complex illness, you should consider finding a veterinary specialist that has trained for years in the field that can give your pup the care she needs.

Finding a veterinary specialist works much like finding a specialist for your care needs. Talk to your veterinarian, and they may be able to give you a referral to one of the specialists they work with. Just remember that even specialists aren’t perfect. They may not be able to fix everything wrong with your dog, even though they want to. Veterinarians are only human.

6. Learn What You Should and Shouldn’t Feed Dogs

Everyone knows that dogs can’t eat chocolate, but what about the rest? Avocados and grapes are bad for your dog, too, as are plenty of other human foods. By learning which foods can hurt your dog and which are all right in moderation, you can save your vet plenty of time. You can keep an eye on the food in your home and know which ones not to feed your pup as a snack so you don’t have to race him to the veterinary hospital.

Ask your vet to guide you through some common foods that are bad for dogs next time you visit. They’d be happy to do so if it meant keeping your pup out of pain. Once you know, it’ll be so much easier to maintain your dog’s health at home by simply avoiding the foods they’re not supposed to eat.

7. Your Vet Loves Your Pup

Many people think that veterinary services are just a business like anything else. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Your vet loves animals — that’s the whole reason they went into the veterinary field.

Veterinary medicine is a high-stress field, to the point where vets have a suicide rate twice as high as people who aren’t veterinarians. This high-stress field requires a certain type of person, so don’t get them wrong: your vet loves every pet they come in contact with, even if they can’t help an animal with their illness.

Treat Your Veterinarian Kindly

It takes a special kind of person to withstand the stress of veterinary medicine while also putting on a smile for anyone who walks through the door and holding out hope for a dog that may just be too sick.

Cut your vet some slack and make their job easier for them. They’re not in this practice for the money — they’re in it to save lives, and they certainly want to help you take better care of your special family member.

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