Every caring pet parent makes appointments with a veterinarian whether it’s for a check-up, a follow-up treatment, or to evaluate some new symptoms. Let’s be honest: the whole process is stressful for both humans and pets. The trick is to get the most out of each visit that you can, and that requires preparation. We spoke to a number of veterinarians to find out their top recommendations for pet parents to prepare for a vet visit:
- Write Down Symptoms
If your pet is ill, be sure to write down all the symptoms you are noticing before you head to the vet. It is easy for things to get a little hectic once you arrive. Writing symptoms down beforehand will help ensure that you don’t forget to mention anything that may be important. Be sure to include how long the symptoms have been present and what, if anything seems to aggravate them. The more you write down, the less you will have to remember.
- Bring All Needed Paperwork
Keep a vet file for each pet, and bring it with you every time you visit the vet’s office. This file should include paperwork like previous vaccinations, bills and treatment plans as well as their papers, registration and proof of health insurance, if applicable. Compiling papers into an easy-to-access folder helps ensure that you have everything you need and prevents last minute scrambling for important files.
- Write Down Any Questions
It is easy for questions to be forgotten or waylaid in the process of the examination. To prevent this from happening, write your questions down while you are still at home and go over them when you reach the vet’s office. This will help put your mind at ease and ensure your bases are covered. You don’t want that important question to pop into your head when you’re loading Fido in the car for the ride home.
- Prep the Crate / Carrier
In order to get your pet to the vet, he needs a safe way to travel. The night before you leave, make sure that the pet’s crate or carrier is ready to make the trip. Having the crate ready ensures a stress-free departure from home and maximum comfort for your pet. Pet parents should also consider including a toy or favorite blanket or bed to make the pet feel safer and more at home while traveling to and from the vet.
- Round up Restraints
In order to go to the vet’s office, your pet will need to be properly restrained. Locate their leash and collar, if applicable. Although many vet’s offices offer these things to their clients, it is ideal to bring your own from home.
- Remember: Your Mood is Contagious
Why is it that your pet seems tense or uneasy before you even get him into the crate or carrier on the way to the vet? Well, simply put, they can feel your mood. If you are anxious, then dogs or cats can notice it. Try to keep calm in word and action. Your pet will soon come to recognize the signs of an approaching vet visit if you follow the same routine before each appointment, so help them develop positive associations with the trip.
One important note: do not make your pet’s first car trip from home be a vet visit. You don’t want your dog or cat associating the stress of the clinic with getting in the car. We hope that these tips help you get your pet the treatment they need. If you have more tips, please share them with the LovePets community below.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian
Photo ©iStock.com/Izabela Habur