Veterinarians suggest that dog owners should inform themselves on how to keep their pets healthy, as America continues to see a decline in animal health.
For the past 10 years, we’ve seen an increase in dog health problems such as obesity, diabetes, dog arthritis, fleas and heart condition, as reported by 9News. Apryl Steele, a spokeswoman for Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, says that the increase of poor health is directly related to dog owners visiting veterinarians less and less often.
Back in 2001, owners used to take their dogs for a regular veterinary check-up at least every 11 months. But the number has dropped to almost 17 months between visits in 2014. Certain studies (note: no studies referenced in the source) have found that pets’ obesity rates range from 25 to 40 percent, which is very alarming, given the fact that it’s the owners who are responsible for their domesticated animals’ eating patterns.
Furthermore, prevalence of arthritis in dogs has increased 38 percent, and it has been found that 92 percent of all pets in general will be in an emergency state situation at some point in their lives.
“Outside of eating right and regular exercise, we think the most important thing a pet owner can do to keep their pets healthy is to be informed and have a relationship with their veterinarian. Forty-eight percent of pet owners said that they look for information online before calling a vet, and we’d like to put a stop to this! We know that no one knows your pet better than you. However, there are many conditions that only your veterinarian can spot. We are trained to detect preventable conditions at their earliest stages and monitor potential issues – allowing for simpler, more cost effective outcomes. So, before looking to PetMD, give your vet a call – it could reduce costs emotionally and financially in the long run,” said Apryl Steele.
Although a veterinarian promoting paid veterinary services might not sound like a credible source, Steele is absolutely right in this instance.
While looking for relevant information online is better than not doing anything, when dealing with a condition you previously haven’t encountered, reaching out for a sound professional advice should be your first priority. Online information, however accurate it is, is there for preventative measures only, but after the things get hot, there’s no time to waste.
“The average cost to treat a range of pet diseases and conditions is between two and nine times more than the cost of preventing them. Preventing dental disease can cost around $170. The cost to treat dental disease is five times more expensive at $530,” she added.
In addition, always remember to seek a second opinion. Private veterinary clinics are still for-profit services that make a buck on the amount of clients they have, so make sure that your vet’s primary interest is in fact doing the very best for your dog while not squeezing you out of your last penny.