Getting a new dog is really exciting, whether you're adopting a rescue dog or raising a puppy. However, it can be a little overwhelming, and there's a lot of decisions to make. This guide explains three things you should ask your new vet so that you can take the best care possible of your new dog.
Is Your Dog's Diet Right for Them?
Choosing what to feed your dog can be difficult, with so many different dog food brands, tasty treats and recommended diets competing for your attention. This is especially true if this is your first dog, and the choice can be overwhelming. Ask your vet if they can recommend any types of food, if there is anything special your dog should be eating due to their breed or health needs and what foods you should avoid. If there's any food you aren't sure about, your vet will be able to give you an honest assessment and will be able to help you plan a diet that gets the right balance between healthy meals and treats, avoiding future health issues for your dog.
What Regular Checkups and Treatments Should Your Dog Get?
Many people only take their dog to the vet when there's something wrong, and in many cases, the problem would have been easier to treat if it was caught earlier. Ask your vet how often your dog should have a health check-up — this could be more often if you adopted an older dog or have a dog with health problems. You should also ask about vaccinations and how often your dog needs them. Finally, many vets offer additional services such as nail cutting and ear cleaning, so ask about these if you're not comfortable doing these things yourself. Taking a proactive approach to your dog's health and creating a relationship with your vet helps you to catch small problems before they become a big issue.
What Health Issues Are Common in Your Dog's Breed?
Each dog breed has slightly different needs and is prone to different conditions and illnesses. Some dogs are prone to cancer, while some breeds, such as dachshunds, are prone to having spinal problems. For example, the National Greyhound Adoption Program explains that greyhounds are extremely prone to bone cancer, meaning that all greyhound owners should look out for limping and sensitive legs. Ask your vet what the common health problems are for your dog's breed, what symptoms you should look out for and if there is anything you can do to avoid these problems.
By asking your new vet about your dog's diet, what check-ups they should get and the health issues common in your dog's breed, you can take the best care of your dog and help them to stay happy and healthy.