Did you recently become a first-time pet parent? A new cat or dog just became a member of your family—and you need to find a veterinarian hospital for a check-up. If you're not sure what to do next or you want to know more about routine veterinary animal care, take a look at this article.
What Are Vet Hospitals?
More specifically, are animal hospitals different from vet offices? The answer to this question is yes—or possibly no. Some clinics, offices, and hospitals use titles or terms interchangeably. This means your pet could get the same services at a vet clinic or office that they would at an animal hospital. But some "hospitals'' may provide additional options.
These additional services could (but don't always) include emergency care, surgical care (surgical services and anesthesia), imaging (such as X-rays), dental cleanings/procedures, or overnight boarding for 24-7 medical care.
What Should You Look for In a New Animal Hospital?
Choose a vet you feel comfortable with. The vet should hold a current, valid license to practice medicine in your state. Likewise, the technicians should also have the appropriate or required licenses, credentials, or training that your state mandates.
Beyond the vet and support staff, make sure the facility is up to your standards. The animal hospital should have an easy-access entrance and comfortable waiting room. Cleanliness is crucial in this type of medical setting. Every area, from the waiting area to the exam rooms, should look and smell clean.
How Often Should a Pet Have a Check-Up?
If your new cat or dog hasn't had a check-up yet or you don't have their medical history, now is the time to schedule an office well-visit. This appointment gives the vet a chance to learn more about your new pet, examine your cat/dog, and recommend any necessary care, medications, or immunizations. After the initial check-up, it's likely your pet will need to return for annual visits.
Do Pets Really Need Well-Visits If They Are Young and Healthy?
Yes, your young, healthy cat or dog needs to visit the vet annually for a check-up. Even though your pet may have no worrisome issues or red flag signs of disease, it's important for a professional to examine your cat or dog. A vet has the experience, knowledge, and education to spot potential problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Along with a physical exam, the annual well-visit is also a time to update vaccinations and discuss preventative options—even for young, healthy animals. Preventative treatments may include heartworm, flea, and tick medications, or a specialized diet plan.