The September To-Do List »
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
From household hazards to insurance, here is a roundup of our best tips for ensuring your pet's safety.
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.
Dr Song is fabulous. I have had many animal and many, many Vets but never one that cared about my animal as Dr Song does. She was closed on a late Sunday evening and I called her (unknowing to me the phones were transferred to her house.) She had me meet her in the clinic and she helped us with the allergic reaction our puppy was having from a spider bite. She DID NOT charge me a small fortune for the visit as I was expecting and she called me 4 hours later to check on the dog. She had only been our Vet for a couple of months at this point and still took the utmost care of our animal. I was not surprised when we took this puppy to obedience school weeks later and the trainer was referring someone to her. We now have 3 animals that see Dr Song.
Absolutely the best veterinarian there is. Caring, selfless, giving her all to helping animals of many types. Have even taken goats, pigs and chickens to this clinic besides dogs, cats, etc. for a long time. I have personally seen her save many of my animals with life threatening ailments, saying "I will do my best. " And she did. There's a LOT of veterinary hospitals in Stockton that only care how much money they can make. They have no caring of anything but money because of their culture. Dr. Song has always put the animals first. They have been her life for 30 years. I know because I have known her for that long and trust her completely. Not all vets in Stockton are created equal.
Dr Vicuna loves animals and it is very apparent. I had to bring my Yorkie in several times because she was very ill and I knew she was in good hands. When it was time to let her go, he showed she and I the greatest of respect and it made a small part of my pain a bit more bearable. I will miss her so much but I know it was the right thing to do because I know if there was anything the doctor could have reasonably done, he would have. He's not there just to run "tests" and empty your wallet. The staff is sweet and considerate of your needs. I highly recommend the Hardin Animal Hospital for their professionalism, compassion and value.
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.