Are You Avoiding Veterinary Check-Ups For The Family Dog?

Alan | June 16th, 2012
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Recently, waiting to welcome a friend at the airport, I witnessed many departures and arrivals. The one I liked best involved a young couple returning from some far-off island who couldn’t wait to see their son.

How is he?

Did he sleep?

Did he eat alright?

Where is he?

When the son was brought forward and turned out to be a tiny, quite excited Pomeranian, we wondered why we weren’t more surprised. Then we remembered that it is not at all uncommon for dog owners to regard their pets as children. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with such a situation; neither owner nor dog appears any worse for it.

The trouble is that it often doesn’t go far enough. Right now, for instance, with Jack Frost standing in the wings during a harsh winter, many of us are telling one another to get down to the doctor’s office for a flu shot, and while we’re there, we’ll have our annual check-up.

Dogs Require Check-Ups Too!

But what about the tiny Pomeranians and all their canine brothers and sisters? They require an annual check-up too.

Indeed, according to no less an authority than thousands of professional veterinarians, a yearly check-up is five to seven times more important to a dog than it is to an owner, because dogs mature five to seven times faster than humans. A dog ages as much in its first year as his owner does in twenty!

Many dog owners put off taking their family pet to a veterinarian until they notice something wrong. The dog won’t eat, or he sleeps all the time, or he’s biting everybody on the block. Perhaps, had he been checked by a veterinarian long ago, none of these conditions would prevail.

Also, it is well to remember that dogs are subject to many hidden hazards, just as we are. Dogs get arthritis, they suffer from tumors, heart trouble, kidney ailments, etc. Caught in time, a lot of pain can be avoided.

What does a visit to the veterinarian involve? Some owners we’ve talked to think it’s an all-day affair, costing a fortune. Not so. The cost is moderate and the time consumed is seldom more than an hour. Most often, it’s a matter of minutes.

The doctor will use a stethoscope, an otoscope, and an ophthalmoscope, the last two instruments for the ears and eyes. He will have a good look at the dog’s teeth and gums (dogs can get pyorrhea), he’ll check the dog’s coat, weight, pulse, and temperature.

Most dogs learn to enjoy their visits to the veterinarian. Incidentally, it’s a very good idea to take the dog to the same doctor each visit, just as you would yourself. In their own way, some dogs even demand it!

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