Going to the Vet

Sometimes for pets going to the vet is much like humans going to their medical doctor or dentist… not really enjoyable. To make your visit as efficient and useful as possible, you’ll want to make sure you are prepared in advance, that you use time effectively with your family veterinarian, and be prepared to follow up afterwards. You can always prepare yourself and your pet for the visit so that the visit remains as stress-free and helpful as possible. Here are a few suggestions to help:

Schedule an appointment. This lets the doctor know you are coming, so they will have time dedicated for your pet for you. Make sure that you have provided as much information about the reason for booking an appointment when you call the clinic.

Take regular care of your pet. This includes brushing his fur or teeth, and trimming any nails, claws, or cleaning ears as necessary. This will also help keep your pet clean and healthy, hopefully reducing the need for additional veterinary visits. In additional to regular care, make sure to touch your pet’s face, legs, tail, feet and any other part of their body you don’t normally touch. This familiarity makes it less stressful at your pets appointment.

Make notes about your pet’s condition. You know the habits and personality of you pet. If something is bothering you about your pet, it is really helpful to keep notes about the things that you notice, such as reduced appetite, biting one area of the body, pacing, making strange noises, or vomiting.

Prepare questions for the doctor. You’ll want your visit to go smoothly and quickly, so be prepared when you come in with a list of questions to ask your veterinarian.

Get your pet comfortable with a carrier. If you are transporting your pet using a carrier, you don’t want them associating the carrier with a negative experience. Leave the carrier out so your pet can explore it. Have some treats or toys in and around the carrier. For larger dogs, make sure you bring them to the clinic on their leash.

Withhold food the night before the exam. Check with your family veterinarian if they want you to avoid feeding your pet the night before.

Enjoy the visit yourself. Our pets pick up on our feelings and mood. If we are anxious, our pets will sense this, just as if we are relaxed.