How often does your big dog go to the vet? Is it only for emergencies, or for the annual vet visit too?
A recent survey conducted by Bayer Animal Health, Brakke Consulting and the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues found that vet visits have been decreasing for the last several years for a few main reasons. These include:
• Economic issues from the recession
• Fragmented vet care (vet, dental vet, mobile vaccines, etc.)
• Internet research over vet visits
• Owner belief that regular vet visits are not necessary
• The cost of vet care
While it’s understandable to want to avoid unnecessary costs when money is tight, having an expert oversee health is not unnecessary. Symptoms that look like one thing to the untrained eye and casual Internet searcher could actually be signs of something much more serious. As a result, more and more pets are being taken to the vet when they are much sicker than if they had been treated when the problem first came up. This leads to higher costs – reinforcing the idea that going to the vet is expensive.
Regular veterinary care is critical to a long, healthy life for your big dog. Issues that plague dogs later in life often have their start early in life. (As an example, my 2-year-old may have the first stages of arthritis already. By catching it early, we’re able to take steps now to prevent it from being much worse later on.) By identifying these issues as early as possible, changes and treatments can reduce the progression of problems. This can mean your dog is healthier as a senior dog.
While it can be tempting to postpone a vet visit for as long as possible, it can cause more pain and complications for your big dog. The next time you want to put off a vet visit, think twice about what that means for your big dog’s health.
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