Pet Expert Q&A
By Donna Chicone
Canine Health Care + Insurance
Dogs need to have annual medical check-ups just like humans do. Senior dogs should be seen twice a year and more if necessary. An annual check up will allow you and your veterinarian to identify problems early rather than later. It allows your dog to have an experience with the vet when he is not having discomfort. You and your vet get to know each other during these preventive visits. Socialization and preventive care occur in the same experience for your dog.
Pet Parent Question
“I take my dog in to see our veterinarian annually. As my dog is getting older I have more reasons to see our veterinarian during the year. Would health insurance for my dog be a good idea?”
Answer: Canine health care can be costly. If you have more than one dog, the expense multiplies. Health insurance can be effective, and many pet parents say they would not be without it. Insurance can allow you to make decisions for your dog’s health that you may not be able to afford otherwise. Another option is to earmark a set amount for medical expenses for your dog. Either way, it costs money to keep our dogs healthy.
Training: A lifelong adventure
Basic obedience training for dogs is like school for human children. Basic obedience behaviors like sit, stay, come, leave-it and more can be the difference between a dog who remains in a forever home and one who is surrendered to a shelter for “behavior problems.” Training helps dogs know what is expected of them, gives them structure and sets limits. Most of all it makes living with a dog a positive experience.
Pet Parent Question:
“I took my dog to puppy kindergarten and he seems to be doing fine. Do I need to do any more training with him?”
Answer: Yes. Training is a lifelong experience. It is never too late to start, and it is something you can do throughout your dog’s lifetime. Training is a dog’s right and a pet parent’s responsibility. Therefore making it a fun experience for both of you will also make it successful.
There are so many training options: basic obedience, canine good citizen training, therapy, agility, nose work, barn hunt, and even tricks classes.
It is important to transfer the learning from the classroom to daily life by asking your dog for the newly learned behaviors like “sit” until they become part of his daily routine. A trained dog is a joy to live with.
Woofs & Smiles!