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3 Ways To Do Your Pet Right

Posted December 22, 2014 in New-Dog Checklists

Dr. Justine Lee's message is simple: be a strong advocate for your pet! For more from Dr. Lee, find her on Facebook!

When it comes to our four-legged friends, we all know that they are as important to us as family members. As our pets can’t “speak,” we have to be their pet advocate, both as a veterinarian and as a pet owner. 

As a board-certified veterinary emergency specialist, I want you to be the best advocate for your four-legged family member. In fact, that’s the primary reason why I authored It’s a Dog’s Life… but It’s Your Carpet and It’s a Cat’s World… You Just Live In It. What I’ve noticed from friends, family, and those coming into the emergency room is that sometimes people make mistakes when it comes to caring for their pet, or even when visiting their veterinarian.
 
Now, when I go to my own MD appointments, I realize that the whopping ten minutes of time I get with the doctor can fly by or be overwhelmingly stressful. All the questions that were in my head have, voila, disappeared, and now I’m kicking myself for not remembering to ask that question.  Does this happen to you when you get to your vet?

Well, when it comes to taking care of our pets, let’s focus on three ways to do your pet right the next time you go into the veterinarian.

First, be a strong advocate for your pet! The first place to start is by simply maintaining a good medical record at home. If you have blood work done by your vet, ask for a copy. Every few years, ask for an updated copy of Fido’s medical record so you have it on hand if you ever have to rush to an emergency veterinarian or decide to up and move. Next, know your rights; in the case that Fido is really sick, you can always self-refer Fido’s case to a board-certified specialist or to another veterinarian if you’re worried about the diagnosis, prognosis, or simply just want a second opinion. Most people are too embarrassed and don’t want to offend their veterinarian, but when it boils down to Fido’s health, let’s do what’s best for Fido. Lastly, if you have a lot of questions for your vet, do your research (on reputable Internet sites, please!) and bring a list of questions to

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Justine has more than 18 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist as well as the CEO and founder of Vetgirl. She is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.