5 MUST Ask Questions For Your Vet

I want to start by saying that vets are just amazing! I have so much respect for what they do. I do feel though, that many of us feel embarrassed to ask certain questions and whether we like it or not the information we don’t know may impact the decisions we make, and ultimately the outcome for our dog. 

Here are the questions you MUST ask every time you see them AND your dog will thank you for asking!

Question 1: How much is it/will it be?

Seems simple enough but don’t be shy to understand the cost of each and every item that will be charged in the visit. This will help you make better decisions and reduce stress by organising finances if needed.

Question 2: Is there a cheaper option?

Whether money is an issue or not, this is an important question to ask. Your vet won’t think less of you for asking! A cheaper option may be available or they can help problem solve and produce options that are within your budget. Ensure you understand all possible treatment options, their price and benefits so you can make an informed decision.

Question 3: Are you happy with my dog’s weight?

We often wear rose coloured glasses about our dogs weight and because we see them everyday gradual small changes are hard to see. Usually vets take your dogs weight as soon as you enter the waiting room so take note of their weight each time and keep asking if your vet is happy with their weight. If your vet says no, then discuss a plan to help them lose the weight. There’s no shame in not noticing our dogs getting overweight, however, once we know there’s a problem we NEED to act on it. An overweight dog has more health problems and their life span is about 2 years less than a dog of a healthy weight! So for your dog’s sake, ask the question and be ready to act on the response!

Question 4: Can you please assess my dog for pain?

53% of dog owners miss signs of pain in their dogs. They hide it well, really well, so make sure you get your vet to do a pain assessment as each visit. They can see if joints are stiff and if there are any sore spots and if these are changing over time. This is important to know because if they are getting worse then treatment may need to change, like introducing or increasing pain relief.

Question 5: If you’ve been given a medication, ask – can I get this at my local pharmacy?

Ask your vet if the medication is something that humans take and is available at a pharmacy in the dosage required. Some medicines may be made in such a way that for example is too small for humans and so you can only purchase from your vet, example Maloxicam. If they say yes it’s a medication that humans take in that dose then ask for a script. They may charge you a small fee for writing the script but you could save lots. For example when I last bought Gabapentin I paid $20 for the script and paid $15 for 100 tablets (100mg), whereas the same is usually $80 from a vet.

Our vets are wonderful and only want to help. It’s so important you have one that is not only good with your dog but also with you and that you’re comfortable with.

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