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Why You Should Visit The Vet During National Pet Week


In just this year alone we’ve celebrated National Puppy Day and National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Now, as we enter the first full week of May, it’s time to recognize National Pet Week! This event was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Auxiliary to the AVMA. So, what’s it all about?

 

According to the official Pet Week website, “National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating America’s more than 200 million pets that enrich our lives each and every day and encourage responsible pet care every day of the year.” As a non-profit organization, the AVMA works with over 90,000 veterinarians across the country. During National Pet Week many vets, schools, and communities host fun and informative events.

 

In honor of National Pet Week, we’re sharing some of the top reasons you might need to take your pet to the vet, and a few tips for making each visit easier on you and your pet.

 

 

Top reasons dogs visit the vet

According to aggregated data from pet insurance companies Nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., and Healthy Paws, some of the top reasons dogs visit the vet are:

  • Skin allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Benign skin tumors
  • Stomach issues
  • Arthritis
  • Periodontitis/tooth infection
  • Urinary tract infection

 

 

Top reasons cats visit the vet

According to aggregated data from pet insurance companies Nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., some of the top reasons cats visit the vet are:

  • Periodontitis/tooth infection
  • Cystitis or urinary tract disease
  • Renal disease or failure
  • Upset stomach/vomiting
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Skin allergies

 

 

How to make vet visits easier on everyone

Sometimes it’s just the sight of a travel carrier that can set a pet on edge when it comes to a vet visit. It’s a special pet who enjoys a check up, while most people need to find a special way to make vet visits easier.

 

Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian in Fort Collins, CO, recommends bringing dogs into the clinic for some fun. “Does your veterinarian offer puppy classes or doggy day care? Signing up can teach your dog that a trip to the clinic can be a positive experience.” Fun options are a little more limited for cats, but Coates says “routine weigh-ins for kitties should at least be neutral if not fun.” She adds, “Cats, especially, can benefit from the services of a house call veterinarian if the clinic proves to be just too stressful.”

 

One of the basic things you can do is get your pet used to their carrier, and travelling in the car. Place toys and treats in the carrier when it’s on the ground so they start to associate it with good things. Ensuring you have enough time to get your pet ready for the trip is also important. A rushed visit can put undue stress on you and your companion.

 

Next, make sure you have all of your pet’s medical records in order before the appointment. If you don’t yet have a history for them on file, contact your pet’s rescue, or previous foster family and bring your own notes to the visit. This includes notes and information on any medication or supplements your pet is taking. Young and old animals will have different needs, but knowing as much as you can about their past is helpful for your appointment. Coates says that most healthy, adult pets should see the veterinarian once or twice a year for a physical exam and any needed preventative care.

 

Most importantly, ask questions during your pet’s vet visit. Since your pet can’t speak for themself, it’s your responsibility to be their advocate and ensure you understand all of your vet’s recommendations.

Written by Alexis Croswell

Alexis is a writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can find her articles at One Green Planet, eecosphere, Vegansaurus, and many other publications. Her path to vegan living was inspired by a love of her childhood rescue dog, a greyhound named Zolo.