Far too often, vets have to deliver information to clients that comes as a complete surprise. It isn’t necessarily bad news. It’s still a surprise. Surprises don’t tend to make life easier or less complex. It can lead to frustration for clients and suboptimal care for pets.
Wait, what? TWO litterboxes for one cat? Three for 2?
Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems?
I didn’t have money to spay my dog. Now she’s pregnant…and I have to do what?
How big does this breed get? That big?!
We didn’t know that could happen…
They need how many vaccines? AND heartworm prevention?
Topics range from basic care and breed information to complex management of a difficult illness or injury. Dealing with these situations after the fact isn’t the best solution for any of us, especially the pet. Planning ahead ensures owners know what’s in store. Informed decisions allow everyone involved with the pet’s care to stay calm and clear-headed. The difficulty from our end is that we often can’t get information to owners before they show up in the exam room.
Thankfully, there are more ways than ever to educate owners and potential owners. Blogs are an obvious example. Web pages, books, visits to the vet, TV shows, and advice from friends are generally available to (potential) owners. It’s not always easy to know where to find good information, but I have a few go-to sites that I’d like to share.
The Indoor Pet Initiative
This page provides great information about creating a home environment that’s good for the mental and emotional health of your pets.
AKC Breed Information
The American Kennel Club has great profiles on breeds. You can find plenty of info to help guide your choice of a companion.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners
The AAFP is a veterinary organization that offers some excellent cat care tips.
The American Animal Hospital Association
This organization also offers a ton of good information for pet owners.
Veterinary Partner Site
Information written mainly by veterinarians on a wide range of preventive care and diagnosis-related topics is available here.
Veterinary Surgery Central
This page is written by a local surgeon. It’s got a massive amount of information about veterinary surgery. The main author, Dr. Dan Degner, is an excellent surgeon and an incredibly nice guy.
I hope that the resources above are helpful in putting information in your hands before there’s a surprise or trouble. Planning ahead is the way to go! If you have a favorite site, please feel free to offer it in a comment so others can benefit.