Just a couple of decades ago, people’s concept of caring for their dog’s health involves just finding a capable vet and taking the dog for regular vaccinations and checkups. But the world has become much more complicated since and now, there are financial and legal matters to think about as well.
Money matters are becoming ever so important these days, what with the economy becoming harsher every month and even though our pets are important we have to know how much some of the associated costs may be. For this reason, it has become essential to discuss with your veterinarian all the fees and other expenses that may be involved in looking after your dog’s health.
- What are the different treatment options available?
- Are annual heartworm tests necessary and how much does each test cost?
- Are there alternative remedies for my dog’s illness?
Such questions are among those that you can ask your veterinarian should your dog become sick and require some kind of treatment. This paves the way for informed consent, which is a term used to denote that the owner understands all the options available and is willing to go through with the chosen method for the betterment of the dog’s health.
Just as it is your right as the customer to ask these questions, it is also the veterinarian’s legal responsibility to provide sufficient answers to these questions as best he can. For instance, he will have to let you know all possible side effects of a treatment procedure. He should also be able to refer you to a specialist in case he is not fully qualified to handle a particular case.
With informed consent, you can protect your rights as the client, as well as ensure that your dog’s health is being taken care of in the best possible way.
Learn What You Can
Even if you have found a capable veterinarian whose skills you are completely confident in, it would still be advisable to learn what you can about caring for your dog’s health. You are the owner after all, and at the end of the day, it is your sole responsibility to make sure that your pup is well taken care of.
Learning about your dog’s health is not hard at all. You can start by paying attention to everything your vet says and storing this knowledge for future use. You may also want to invest in a good dog book that you can consult in case of medical emergencies.
Finally, you can always do some research on the Internet. When you do this though, you have to make sure that you are learning from a reliable and credible source.