Eight Tips for Protecting Your Pet »
From household hazards to insurance, here is a roundup of our best tips for ensuring your pet's safety.
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
Just like the planning that went into your vacation, there is planning needed before boarding your pet. Here are some dos and don'ts to help make the process a little easier.
I've been taking my Doberman Oberon to Blum for 3 years. During the time I've had him, since 12 weeks old, he has been to only Blum doctors. Oberon has had a problem eating and swallowing things he shouldn't (socks; gloves; leather belts, coats and leashes...you name it.). Blum has helped both Oberon and I through these many (sometimes dangerous) procedures, including multiple induced vomitings as well as emergency surgery when the dog was extremely ill and going into toxic shock after eating a leather/velcro cylcing glove that become lodged in his intestines. ALL of the MANY doctors I've seen in the numerous trips we've made to the Blum have been extremely kind, concerned, professional, knowledgeable about dogs (my breed in particular) and have been extremely friendly. I've never once had a bad experience with any member of the staff, professional, technical or administrative. During all the "emergency" calls, there was never a problem getting me in immediately without an appointment. Everyone at the hospital seem to genuinely like me and also care about Oberon. They are often excited to see him with employees oftentimes coming from behind the counter to visit/hug/pet him. Perhaps this is even moreso the case since we visit less, as he's thankfully gotten over this habit. As for their prices, I honestly don't have much to compare their costs too (other than the emergency vet on clybourn), but my feeling when it comes to business is that when, or IF, you can find an organization that satisfies your needs and does it all with great customer service, stick with them; customer service overall seems no longer important in the service/retail industries. I'e recommended everyone I know to Blum. However, many of these people live in my Edgewater neighborhood, and may perhaps choose different due to location. I don't find it any inconvenience at all to drive the 15 minutes to Belmont/Clark to have my dog in the hands of professionals I trust.
Caring Compassionate and the Best Vet you could Ever Find! by Miss Moxie f you're looking for a caring vet whose main concern is the well being of your pet; definitely check out Dr. Bhaskar at the Seligman Animal Hospital. Th parking lot and the outside of the office isn't much to look at, but DO NOT let that deter you from going in. Two of my three dogs were rescues from Dr. Bhaskar and he's been our vet since 1986. It is a commute for us from Westchester, but i would never consider anyone else. Dr. Bhaskar takes the time to get to know your pet and he is invested in their care completely. He takes his time to address your concerns and he offers thoughtful solutions to health issues. The staff is super sweet. Linda the receptionist has been there FOREVER and just knows us by our faces. Unlike many vets, Dr. Bhaskar's prices aren't exorbitant. A typical office visit runs around $40 and if you're tight on cash he works with you to get a payment plan...his main concern is that your pet is taken care of. He does provide the usual services and he does do surgeries and dental stuff also. I was waiting to pick up my dog the other day and heard another owner tell the receptionist that the vet she first took her dog to in Hinsdale spent 5 minutes with her dog and diagnosed him with allergies and put him on a steroid. when the dog got even worse after the meds her friend told her about Dr. Bhaskar. After Dr. Bhaskar took a good twenty minutes to look over the doggie, he found an abscess in the dog's throat which the steroids were making worse. So the doc got the doggie on the right treatment plan and he's doing better (this was their follow up visit) so again, definitely bring your pets here for superb care!
I had to get shots for both of my dogs. one a full bred Boxer.. the other was adopted So Lab Mixed (We always wanted to know with what ?? ) So K9 University Staff (Which i frequent) referred me to this place because she used to work here and she knows my dogs.. Well I can honestly say that I was IMPRESSED !!! The place is Nice. Clean.. Doesn't smell.. the Staff ... Very impressed. K9 University staff told the vet that I was bringing my pooches here. When we got there it was like the entire staff were waiting on us. I was told through K9 that my visit would be about $150 for both pooches but you know.. when i got there.. My dogs hadn't had shots (other than rabis) in 2 yrs for one dog.. the other dog 1 yr (We adopoted her) ... The Low Down.. ALL of their shots! including the ones that I've never EVER heard of .. Plus Fecal Check .. 1 Year of heartgaurd for 2 dogs.. $200 per dog.. Thats a Deal.. they even got blood samples for another test.. the Fecal Test.. ALL Shots.. Plus 1 yr of Heartgaurd.. we were there all but 30 min for 2 dogs (The place was empty) ohh and another thing. We were curious about what our Lab was mixed with.. OMG It's Lab and "CHOW" umm we're not a Chow person.. Riley is super cute with her Golden Ears (Google Lab/chow mix) ... but hey.. At least the lab Curbs the BAD AZZ of the Chow! take your pooches here!! He's not a Negotiator really but if he see's your head spinning because of the cost.. he will certainly work with you :)
Choosing the right vet for your pet can be tough. After all, your furry friend can't tell you how he or she feels about the doctor. Even though you're not the one treated by the vet, whoever your animal sees is obviously your decision. Since many veterinary diseases and injuries can turn into emergencies very quickly, it's important to have a go-to vet. This way, you can ensure you'll know whom to see when your animal needs care.
Speak to your friends and family about vets who've treated their pets. You can even talk to your groomer or an animal shelter worker for referrals. When you visit the clinics you've been referred to, check that the facility is clean, animals are separated and the staff is calm and courteous. Not all clinics are American Animal Hospital Association accredited. This accreditation isn't a legal necessity, though a clinic that's AAHA-accredited is guaranteed to offer high-quality medical care. To receive accreditation, the clinic has to meet the AAHA's standards in the areas of facility, equipment and quality care.
If you're looking for a specialist, you want to make sure he or she is board-certified to practice in that specific area of animal medicine. You'll want to make sure your vet is also convenient to visit, so there are factors to take into account.
The type of animal you own should play a part in which vet you choose as well. While your options are vast if you have a dog or cat, you may have to visit an avian clinic for your bird or an exotics clinic for your snake.
Just as there are many types of doctors, there are many types of vets. Some focus on livestock or house pets, while others may specialize in dentistry or surgery. They may work in a veterinary clinic or zoo, working specifically with the animals housed there, or travel to farms to work with livestock. Since horse racing and other equestrian activities are so popular, some vets are trained to work just with horses.
Diseases, like malaria and yellow fever are also transmitted through animals. Some vets have insight to diseases that affect both humans and animals. Vets have contributed to the treatment and cure of many diseases that plagued both humans and their furry friends.
Government agencies employ veterinarians as well. When an animal comes from a foreign land, these vets quarantine them and check for any diseases that may be present in an effort to control new diseases that can be brought into the country. Other Specific types of vets include:
A vet assistant works alongside the veterinarian and helps out around the clinic. In some cases, they may assist vets in surgery or restrain struggling animals during tests or lab work. The everyday duties of a veterinary assistant include; monitoring and caring for animals after surgery, keeping medical records, cleaning animals' teeth, feeding and bathing them, cleaning cages, sterilizing surgical equipment, giving animals medication, collecting samples for testing and performing laboratory tests, and offering grief counseling to pet owners.
It's a good idea to bring your pet to the vet regularly. This way, he or she becomes familiar and comfortable with the care providers, and you can stay on top of your pet's preventative care. If the animal is small enough, bring it to the office in a carrier. Just as you visit the doctor for a yearly check up, you should bring in your pet for regular check ups as well. During a routine veterinary visit, the vet will probably begin by asking you if there have been any changes in your pet's behavior or habits.
The vet will then take your pet's vitals, like weight, temperature, pulse and respiration rate, and perform a physical examination of the pet. During a physical exam, the vet checks the abdomen for swollen organs, and the legs, feet and joints for any potential problems. Depending on the age, breed or condition of your pet, your veterinarian may also check the eyes, ears and mouth.
When your vet conducts a full body examination, he or she will check out your pet's coat and skin, noting any hair loss, itchy spots or lumps. Keep note of your animal's shedding habits so you can let the vet know if anything seems abnormal. The vet will check for parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and heartworms as well.
Vaccinations are also important to your pet, especially if you have a cat or a dog, and your vet will suggest that you make sure they're current. Keeping up to date with vaccinations can prevent your furry friend from getting distemper, rabies, hepatitis and lyme disease. Some vaccinations last longer than others, so speak to your doctor about staying caught up with your animal's shots.
Just like your own health insurance, you want to make sure your animal is covered before he or she needs veterinary services. Some common animal surgeries can cost thousands of dollars, and you don't want to end up having to foot a surprise bill that costs more than your paycheck.
There's no set price for pet health insurance. Costs can depend on factors such as where you live, the age and breed of your pet, and how much coverage you want. Before you take out a pet insurance policy, you'll want to meet with your vet to go over what he or she thinks your animal should be covered for. Many vets believe that you should make sure cancer, chronic disease, hereditary and congenital disease, and common breed-related medical conditions are all addressed in your policy.
Some pet owners can't afford insurance for their pet, so there are other options to make paying for surprise pet visits as easy as possible. Some pet stores have wellness plans - which tend to be much cheaper than an insurance policy - that offer shots, check ups, screenings and discounts on various procedures your pet may need. A lot of veterinary offices offer payment plans for pricey procedures as well, as long as you have decent credit history. For a last-ditch option, there are even privately funded organizations that offer pet owners financial aid for their pet's treatments.