Thanks to the internet, you can:
- learn how to castrate your dog (don’t; it’s terribly cruel)
- diagnose animal illnesses
- buy home vaccinations
- “prevent” and “cure” disease
- and regulate your pet’s diet.
So why does anyone bother going to the vet?
Here are the 5 reasons I take my dog Honey to the vet for her check up every year.
1. The Internet Lies
I love the internet. But it’s full of nonsense.
According to the internet, the 1969 moon landing was a fake, Elvis Presley is still alive, and the most effective way to train your dog is to treat him like a wolf (even if wolves don’t act the way these proponents say they do).
To keep her licensing current, my vet reviews current scientific literature before newspapers, televisions shows, and websites distort it to promise something the researchers never intended.
If I see something intriguing online, I ask my vet about it. She usually knows just what I’m talking about and has information about the research that inspired the information.
2. Going to the Vet Saves Me Money
Honey can’t tell me how she’s feeling. But annual vet visits are one way I can look for problems before Honey is sick enough to show symptoms.
But I’ve also saved money directly.
Honey’s heartworm medicine was on a recall list. The office manager gave me a credit for the pills we hadn’t used and applied it to our new bill. If I had bought the heartworm preventive online, I would have lost that money.
3. A Caring Stranger Sees Things I Don’t
Have you ever seen someone after a long absence and been shocked at how different they looked? Yeah, me too.
But I bet their family didn’t notice any changes.
When you live with someone every day, they change slowly over time and you never notice it.
The vet, who only sees Honey once a year (hopefully), will notice changes in her mood or appearance that might escape my notice if they happened gradually enough.
4. A Vet Keeps Good Notes
At Honey’s last appointment, our vet looked at her chart and said, “I noticed last year you were asking about Honey’s fear issues. How’s that going?”
I didn’t even remember bringing that up with the doctor.
We were starting Honey’s bike cart training and someone suggested I mention Honey’s timidity to my vet in case it had a medical basis. I had forgotten about it. But it was right there in Honey’s chart.
At the time, the vet didn’t believe Honey’s lack of confidence was caused by a health issue. And several months of training that boosted Honey’s confidence proved the doctor right.
But I found it helpful that our vet was keeping track of these things for us.
5. I Want My Vet to Thrive Financially
I’ve never seen anyone mention this in their reasons to go to the vet. But it’s very important to me.
I want my vet to make money.
I want her to invest in her staff so they stay for many years. I want her to have the equipment she needs to provide excellent care to her patients. And most important to someone without a car, I want her to afford the rent for her downtown office only 8 blocks from my house.
We have many excellent vets in our area, including a world-class vet school. But without a car, they might as well be on the moon for all the trouble I’d have getting to them. I feel very lucky that the vet I would choose regardless of her location is easily available to me. In a pinch, I could carry Honey if I had to.
Rely On Your Vet
More Americans than ever live with pets. But fewer of them visit the vet annually.
Pets will pay the price. But so will their people.
It’s hard to medically care for someone who hides her pain, doesn’t speak English, and is covered in fur. So why make it harder by ignoring one of the best resources available to you—your vet?
Even in a DIY world, I’m happy to rely on my vet.
Note: I’m very thankful to the vets and staff at Cornerstone Vet Hospital. I’ve had bad vet experiences in the past. And it only makes me appreciate your good care even more. Thanks.
Your Turn: Are you fortunate enough to have a vet you trust and like working with? If so, what do you appreciate the most?