We need you, our partners in pet care, to assist in making your pet’s visit as easy and productive as possible. Here are ten steps pet parents can take to do just that. With your help, we can work together to provide your pet with a long, healthy, happy life. Thanks for doing your part!
Before You Arrive
- Touch me. Accustom your pet to being handled. Dogs and cats who have their mouths, ears, undersides and feet touched on a regular basis are more likely to remain calm during an exam. This will make their treatment quicker and more pleasant for everyone.
- Testing…testing. Ask if your pet is due for lab work and if there are any special instructions. You may be asked to bring a fresh stool sample or to schedule your appointment at a specific time of day. Annual parasite screening and blood work is recommended for all pets. Those on chronic medications or over eight years of age are checked more frequently.
- Safety first. If your dog is aggressive, train her to wear a muzzle and bring her in wearing it. When having it on isn’t an unusual experience, your dog will not be as resistant and everyone’s safety will be assured.
- It’s snack time. If possible, bring your pet in a little hungry. One method we use to provide a stress-free visit to give your pet treats during the exam. We have an assortment in our clinic, but if your pet has a favorite treat, bring a few along. If he has a comfort blanket or toy, feel free to come with that as well. This will help reduce his anxiety and make the trip a positive experience.
- Take inventory. Check your supply of heartworm and flea/tick preventatives (Heartgard, Nexgard, etc.) and medications; will you need refills? If you have purchased supplements or medications elsewhere, bring them with you so the doctor is aware of everything your pet is taking.
In the Waiting Room
- Timing is everything. Arrive at your scheduled time so that we can give you and your pet the attention you deserve. If your dog is aggressive or nervous, ask for the first appointment of the morning or afternoon. This will minimize the chances that you will encounter others. You can also call us when you arrive and we’ll let you know when your exam room is ready so you can go straight in. We strive to keep our appointments on time; however, a frightened or very ill pet may take longer for the doctor to see. We also appreciate your patience when an emergency comes in; these pets may need to be seen immediately.
- Hold on. Secure your pet! For everyone’s safety, please have your cat or small mammal in a carrier and your dog on a leash. Animals can behave unpredictably, especially if they don’t feel well or are in an unfamiliar environment. If you have an especially anxious pet, consider a pheromone product like Feliway or Adaptil to help keep them calm. These products are available in our clinic and at our online store.
During the Exam
- Bring a list. Write down your questions and concerns ahead of time. This way you can be sure to have a productive conversation with the vet. This makes the best use of everyone’s time and avoids a later game of telephone tag when you remember all the things you forgot to ask!
- Just the pets, please. Consider leaving the kids at home. This way your attention is on your pet and her care. If you do need to bring children along, we suggest having a book or quiet toy to occupy them. For everyone’s safety, we ask that children remain with their parents.
After the Visit
- Now it’s your turn. Follow the doctor’s instructions regarding medication, food, training and follow up visits. We can provide written directions and handouts if needed. If you have difficulty giving your pet needed treatments, please let us know. There is often an alternative we can try.