The 5 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make at the Vet – Best Life

We all want to be the best dog owners possible. We take our puppies on interesting walks, cuddle them and toss their toys until they tire. But there’s one facet of dog grooming that’s a lot less fun — and downright scary at times: going to the vet. Of course, your vet has your dog’s welfare in mind. However, getting Fido into the exam room can instill anxiety in many. Still, it’s absolutely necessary, and you should be prepared to ensure you get the most out of every visit. So we spoke to vets and veterinarians to learn the most common mistakes dog owners make at the vet — and how to avoid them. Read on to make sure your next vet visit goes smoothly.

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A vet talks to an owner about his dog

In order for your veterinarian to provide the best care for your dog, you need to give them as much information as possible. “Owners often downplay how poorly their dog is doing or omit certain symptoms for fear they will look bad if they don’t seek help sooner,” she says Linda Simon, DVM, Vet and Consultant for FiveBarks. “Similarly, some owners are so concerned that the vet suggests putting their pet to sleep and they act like their dog is doing better than they are.”

Unfortunately, this will do your pup a disservice. “We can only do what we’re told, and the more accurate the information we have, the better we can help,” says Simon. “Owners need to understand that euthanasia is only advisable when it is in a pet’s best interest, and typically the owner and veterinarian will both come to the same decision when the time comes.” Until then, you should make a detailed note with any symptoms or unusual behavior of your pet. This way, your vet can easily diagnose and treat your pal.

dog at the vet
Andy Gin/Shutterstock

You wouldn’t (hopefully) lie to your doctor, so why would you lie to your vet? “Owners can tell ‘white lies’ about things they think are bad for them,” says Simon. “For example, they may claim that they only give a few treats a day when in fact they give a lot more. They fear they will be turned away by the vet.”

But your vet isn’t there to judge—just to get your dog back in tip-top shape. “When we see a dog not losing weight despite being fed the right amount, we worry about conditions like hypothyroidism,” explains Simon. “However, if the real problem is the owner sharing his morning banana bread, then we can save the dog from an unnecessary blood test!” You see, honesty is always the best policy.

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When it comes to keeping pets, there is one non-negotiable issue: you must take your pet to the vet once a year and when they are sick. “Animals cannot speak and are genetically wired to hide illness and pain,” he says Jamie Whittenburg, DVM, senior veterinarian at Senior Tail Waggers. “By the time the owner brings the pet to me, the problem is often more serious and much more difficult to treat.” This can result in unnecessary pet suffering and a more expensive treatment plan for the owner.

Skipping your yearly vet visit is also a big no-go. “When a dog is healthy, these exams allow owners to develop a relationship with their veterinarian, give the vet a chance to get to know the pet, and are essential for detecting illnesses early,” says Whittenburg. Make an appointment now to ensure your pup lives their longest and happiest life.

A large English Mastiff dog lying on the table at the vet with his owners behind him.
UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock

Once you get to the vet, you should let your doctor and staff do their job—and avoid them unless they ask for your help. “As much as veterinarians wish it weren’t, the clinic can be an extremely scary place for a dog to the point where it might do things that it absolutely wouldn’t do outside of the clinic – including biting.” “, he says Patrick Holmboechief veterinarian for Cooper Pet Care. “Veterinarians and techs are trained to care for animals, and when a dog bites its owner, the worst possible outcome is.”

The only time you should be practical at the vet is in the waiting room. In particular, Holmboe wants all dog owners to stop their dogs from sniffing around cat cages. “Most cats are very scared at the vet clinic, and it’s even more frightening when a big, scary dog ​​walks right up to them in that situation — no matter how friendly your dog might be,” says Holmboe. “Even with other dogs — always ask their owner first if it’s okay to sniff.” Again, dogs can behave differently at the vet than in other spaces.

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A woman holding her dog while talking to a vet with a clipboard
Shutterstock / Prostock Studio

Your visit to the vet should be as informative as possible, especially if your dog is undergoing any new treatment. “Dog owners should come to the vet and be prepared to ask questions about what treatment and diagnosis is recommended or required, how long it will take, and how much it will cost,” he says Denise Loft, Vet Assistant and Account Manager at Hello Ralphie, a telemedicine company for pet parents. “Failing to ask for an estimate of the potential costs can lead to unexpected expenses and sticker shock when it comes time to pay the bill. If your dog has to stay with the vet for a diagnosis, it can lead to frustration at not receiving a time estimate and possible changes in plans.” Ask all your questions and be open with your vet about your concerns. They can work with you to resolve one Find a plan that fits your budget and availability. The 5 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make at the Vet – Best Life

Sarah Y. Kim

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