The COVID-19 pandemic has placed historic pressures on the veterinary field and pet owners across the country.
These challenges impact patients, especially at a provider like VCA Animal Hospitals, which has more than 1,000 locations across the United States and Canada that care for more than 4 million pets each year.
Consider these tips to help navigate this new reality and ensure your pet has access to the care needed to stay healthy.
Establish a relationship with a veterinarian. Establishing a relationship with a veterinary hospital means your pet will have a team to help that is familiar with his or her medical history and can identify concerns early to improve chances of a positive outcome.
Just like your own health, don’t wait until something goes wrong to visit your pet’s veterinarian.
Book appointments in advance and outside peak hours. The best appointments to book early include annual and semi-annual wellness check-ups, vaccinations, dental cleanings and elective surgeries. If you’re unsure which appointments to schedule, ask your veterinarian.
Booking your pet’s next recommended exam while you’re checking out from your last one is an easy way to find an appointment time that works best for you.
Have a financial plan. Veterinary care for unexpected events and emergencies can often be costly, just like human health care. Owners should consider the total cost of caring for a pet and create an emergency fund to use should something happen to your pet.
Obtaining pet insurance or enrolling in a wellness plan are other strategies that can help lighten the financial load.
Know where to go for emergency care. It’s important to know where you can take your pet in case of an emergency. Know where several veterinary emergency hospitals are in your area just in case your pet’s primary care doctor is unable to see you.
You can also ask if your veterinary hospital offers tele-triage or other virtual care options. For example, through the myVCA app, you can access 24/7 live chat with licensed veterinary professionals to help answer questions and offer advice.
Be patient. Veterinary medicine is undergoing a surge in demand. Remember that caring for pets is not just a career, but a passion for veterinarian professionals.
They are working to ensure you and your pets receive world-class medicine and hometown care you expect and deserve, even with the increased patient load.
Find more information at vcahospitals.com.
Photo courtesy of VCA Animal Hospitals