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Dr. Aziza Shares Her Top Pet Parent Tips for World Veterinary Day

23 Apr 2021 | Written by Freshpet

The World Veterinary Association has set every last Saturday of April as World Veterinary Day to praise the veterinary community. In honor of this important day, we’ve asked Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza, to share her top tips for both seasoned and first-time pet parents, as well as answer some of our biggest questions about the life of a veterinarian.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being a veterinarian?

Helping sick animals get better, happy animals be happier, and, in turn, helping the human family members as well.

What are your 3 top tips for Seasoned Pet Parents?

1. Make sure your pet’s diet is healthy: Pet obesity is very prevalent in America, so it’s important that your pet’s diet is a healthy one. In addition to this, you’ll also want to ensure that everyone in the household, as well as visiting guests, are following the same guidelines for feeding your pet. Consider switching to healthy treats as well, like Freshpet’s low sodium Dognation® Turkey Bacon or Dog Joy® Chicken Treats.

2. Don’t skip annual exams and routine tests: I recommend sticking to a schedule for annual exams and routine tests, such as heartworm tests. Once a pet reaches 8 years old, it’s a good idea to increase the frequency to two exams every year along with annual complete diagnostic tests.

3. Make sure to have a good oral care routine at home: Dental disease is very prevalent in dogs and cats, but putting in place a good oral care routine at home can help curb this. Dental cleanings are actually recommended 1-2 times a year depending on the severity of dental disease present, which is something all pet parents should keep in mind.

On the other side of the coin, what are your 3 top tips for First-Time Pet Parents?

1. Create a veterinary savings account: This account can be used to cover routine expenses as well as unexpected costs. I also strongly recommend getting pet insurance for all pets. There are a number of different providers on the market, so shop around and compare quotes to see which options are best for you.

2. Do your research: If you’re interested in getting a pure-breed dog, take the time to research the background of the breed, what they were bred to do, and common diseases that affect them. This information will prepare you for potential ailments their pet might develop in the future. Plus, if there are any behavioral issues, adjusting the lifestyle and playtime to accommodate what the breed was designed to do will help to resolve the issues. For instance, dachshunds like to burrow, dalmatians like to run, and labrador retrievers like to swim.

3. Keep your pet’s veterinary medical records organized: I recommend having one place for all of your organized veterinary records to be kept. It will make future vet visits easier to manage, especially if you have to leave quickly during an emergency, like a hurricane evacuation.

What should pet parents look for when searching for a new vet?

When searching for a new vet, consider location, type of services offered, and costs of services. It’s always convenient to have a veterinary clinic that is geographically close to your home or workplace, but if you’re interested in certain services like dental cleanings, acupuncture, or even grooming, you may need to go a bit further to find a place that offers all of those desired services. Once you determine what is your budget for veterinary services, make sure that the clinic you choose will complement it and not cause any financial strains.

What advice would you give a pet parent when looking for the best recipe for their dog or cat?

If your pet has a food allergy, try foods that only have novel (have not been exposed to before) and limited ingredients, like Freshpet’s Vital® Grain-Free Beef & Bison Recipe and Vital® Grain-Free Beef Recipe with Lamb. If your pet has dry skin and a dull hair coat, try switching to diets that are high in omega fatty acids, like Freshpet’s Vital® Grain-Free Salmon & Ocean Whitefish Recipe. Finally, if your pet is overweight or obese, switch to diets that have high-quality ingredients with low calories, like Freshpet’s Deli Fresh® Grain-Free Chicken Recipe and Freshpet® Select Chunky Beef Recipe.

bison slices, blueberries, cranberries, spinach on marble board

What are a few common myths, if any, that you want to clear up about veterinarians?

A day in the life of a veterinarian can be like a roller coaster ride. We can have a joyous puppy exam and the very next appointment is the euthanasia of a patient we’ve treated for years. We can have long hours and often work through lunch. We enjoy the profession and helping animals, even though it is not a career that makes one “rich.”

Finally, don’t tell the pet parents of our patients, but we truly prefer animals over people!

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