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Taking your dog or cat to the vet

Whether it be a regular check-up, vaccination or for specific symptoms, you will have to take your dog or cat to the vet every now and then. In this article, we will tell you all about the vet and how they can help.

Choosing a vet

When purchasing a dog or cat, it is a good idea to register with a vet right away. This is where you’ll be taking your pet for check-ups, vaccination and in the unfortunate event of illness or injury. Whenever you relocate, be sure to register with the local vet in your new place of residence as soon as possible. There are several aspects to take into account when choosing a new vet, including:

  • Reviews and observations of others
  • The distance between your home and the vet
  • Pricing
  • The size and appearance of the practice

In the end, it will always be a personal choice. Feel free to pay the practice an orientational visit. This will allow you to ask some important questions. Ask about the vet’s training when it comes to the latest developments in the field. Find out what procedures are conducted in-house and which ones require a referral to a specialist. If your pet has specific issues or symptoms, make sure you choose a vet who understands them and is able to give your pet proper treatment.

How can a vet help you?

There may be various reasons to visit a vet. Of course, you can consult a vet when your pet is in pain or seems to have caught a disease. Most vets can take emergency calls, such as poisoning or an accident. Then there are structural matters that require a visit to the vet, such as vaccinating, sterilising or castrating your dog or cat. In addition, your vet can perform a number of check-ups, such as a dental check-up. Timely check-ups can help detect and resolve any issues at an early stage.

to the vet with dogs and cats

Costs: how much will a vet consultation set you back?

A visit to the vet can be quite expensive, this is something every pet owner has to take into account. The cost of a visit depends on several factors, such as the type of treatment. A problem that can be treated with ointment is going to be less expensive than a complicated fracture that requires surgical pins to heal. Most practices have standard rates for frequently occurring treatments, such as castration and sterilisation. Here are some average rates, to give you an idea:

  • Consultation dog/cat: €40 to €50 per consult
  • Dog vaccination: €50 per shot
  • Cat vaccination: €30 per shot
  • Sterilising or castrating a dog: sterilisation approx. €200 to €250 and castration approx. €75 to €125.
  • Sterilising or castrating a cat: €75 for a male and approx. €125 for a female
  • Deworming a dog: subject to the medication and the size/weight of your dog, it’s going to set you back anywhere between €20 and €80 a year
  • Deworming a cat: subject to the medication, it’s going to set you back about €20 to €40 a year
  • Chipping a dog (or cat): €35.

After hours consultation

Sometimes you’re going to need a vet right now. Emergency situations may arise after hours, so most vets have a special rate for these situation. In some cases, including cities or villages that are packed close together and/or have several veterinary practices, there may be an on-call service. This means that your vet may be off-duty, and a different vet will be on call for your emergency. Most veterinary practices have a section on their website that explains the after hours procedure. The rates of such emergency consultations tend to be much higher than regular rates, so do expect a steeper bill.

Pet insurance

As you can see, veterinary visits can set you back quite a bit. One way of anticipating these costs, is to set aside a certain amount every month in order to save up for any unexpected misfortune. Another option is to insure your pet. There are several insurers that offer policies for your dog or cat. It is smart to compare them before making a decision. Pay attention to coverage, maximum reimbursements and deductibles, in addition to the rate itself.

Taking a pup to the vet for the first time

You’ve adopted a pup, congrats! Of course, you’ve informed yourself on many aspects, including the vet. The first visit to the vet can be quite stressful. Make sure your pup is at ease and take care of safe transportation. Here’s what to bring along for the first consultation:

  • Vaccination overview
  • Overview of your pup’s diet, both the type and quantity of food
  • Overview of treatments, such as deworming and anti-flea treatment

Here is what your vet should check and discuss during the first consultation:

  • Advice for vaccination, anti-flea treatment and deworming
  • Dietary advice
  • General health check-up and advice
  • Specific advice for your pup based on the breed
  • Chipping an unchipped pup

Taking a kitten to the vet for the first time

If you’ve got a kitten, you’re going to have to take it to the vet as well. This is a stressful experience for your kitten, so make sure it feels at ease as much as possible. Let your kitten get used to the travel basket in advance by placing it in your home with a blanket inside that carries your kitten’s scent. Collect relevant information in advance on vaccination, diet and any relevant parasite treatment. During your kitten’s first consultation, the vet’s focus points should include:

  • Advice for vaccination, anti-flea treatment and deworming
  • Dietary advice
  • General health check-up and advice
  • Specific advice for your kitten based on the breed

vet visit with a senior dog

Taking a senior dog to the vet

As your dog ages, it may develop so-called old age ailments like arthrosis, a type of joint erosion. It is recommended to take your senior dog in for a check-up on a regular basis (twice a year is best). The vet can spot and treat any ailments in time and alleviate any pain or symptoms. Keep in mind that a senior dog has different needs than a younger dog. Senior dogs need less exercise, or different types of exercise. Plus, it is a good idea to give an older dog special food that is geared towards seniors.

Taking a senior cat to the vet

Ageing cats may develop old age ailments too. In addition to arthrosis, ageing cats may experience kidney failure, problems with their coat or an overly active thyroid gland. If you think that your cat may be suffering from any of these ailments, bring it in for a check-up as quickly as possible. Regular check-ups, preferably twice a year, will help spot and treat any health problems in time.

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