Studies indicate that veterinary visits are in decline, a disturbing trend that may be putting pets’ health in jeopardy.
According to a 2011 Bayer Veterinary Care Usage study, companion animal veterinary visits have been declining over the past several years.
Study participants reported their pets saw the vet nearly 20 percent less than they did a mere four years ago.
The infrequency of vet visits might be traced to a host of factors, including financial concerns stemming from the recent recession, the high cost of veterinary care, increased use of the Internet as a source of information about animal health and modifications in pet immunization schedules.
Many vets have moved to a three-year vaccination schedule, wherein pets only have to receive routine shots every three years instead of annually.
Some pet owners are choosing to forego annual checkups because they don’t see the need to visit the vet unless a pet is sick or due for shots.
Financial concerns are another factor in the decrease of vet appointments.
Though the economy has begun to recover, some pet owners simply do not have the extra income to devote to animal care.
While owners may have viable reasons for not taking their animals to see the vet, failure to do so can prove costly down the road.
Health checkups for pets can alert owners to potential problems that can be resolved with medication or other therapy.
Left unchecked, illnesses may spread until surgery or other invasive treatment options are the only recourse.
Veterinary health insurance for pets is available at a reasonable cost.
These insurance plans can offset the expense of some visits and provide protection if a major illness should befall a dog or cat.
Many veterinarians recognize the high cost of pet care and will be willing to work with customers in regard to payments.
It is worth talking to the vet to see if a payment plan or alternative appointments can be made to ensure the health of the pet.
Vets may be able to suggest over-the-counter medications or certain foods instead of more expensive prescriptions.
It’s important to note that diagnosing pet ailments on your own is ill-advised.
Certain symptoms may seem to indicate one condition but could actually be something more serious.
Pet owners should always confer with a veterinarian if a pet is acting out-of-sorts and not rely entirely on homespun advice.
The sooner a vet is seen, the more quickly the pet can get on the road to recovery.
Veterinarians provide important services to maintain the health of a vast array of pets.
Although there may be inclinations to cut down on vet visits if a companion animal seems well, it is best to keep up with routine care to head off potentially costly treatment and keep the animal healthy and comfortable.