Going to the vet isn’t always fun - for animals and humans alike! Most often there is worry involved, and your pet may not be feeling their best. Here are some tips to help you both get the most out of a visit with your veterinarian, and ultimately the best outcome for your pet.
Call your vet before (and after) your visit.
- Your vet’s office can help explain what tests may be used, what they will entail, and how to best prepare. After a visit, they can help clarify results of tests and reasons for treatments.
Have a detailed list of your pet's medications, supplements, and diet available.
- Know exactly when and how you are using these products.
- Take pictures of labels, or bring in what products/medications you can.
- If you are unsure what your pet is getting, or how often something is used, be sure to tell your veterinarian.
Be your pet’s health detective. Think through the following questions about your pet:
- How is their appetite?
- How is their energy level?
- How do they get around? Any limping?
- Any changes in water intake or urine output? Consider frequency and volume.
- Any coughing, sneezing, changes in breathing?
- Any vomiting or diarrhea?
- Any itching, licking, rubbing, scooting?
- Any new smells coming from your pet?
- Any perceived changes in vision or hearing?
- Any visual changes to the eyes, ears, or skin?
Think about the duration of their symptoms.
- When did they start? Are the symptoms getting better, worse, or staying the same? Do the symptoms wax and wane? Do the symptoms change with certain actions or treatments?
Be honest with your vet.
- Share any details that you can think of-- even if they seem awkward, embarrassing or irrelevant.
- Sometimes we realize we’ve made a mistake as a pet owner, and that may have impacted our pet’s health. Your veterinarian should provide a judgement-free zone. The only thing they’re worried about is your pet’s health, and safely moving forward. So speak up and speak freely!
It’s okay to say you don’t know the answer to a question.
- If a certain question is difficult to answer, ask your veterinarian how you might better determine the answer.
- Ask questions about what might happen if you do, or don’t, follow a recommendation. This might help you better understand the importance of why they are recommending it..
You always want to keep an open communication with your regular vet. If you are ever concerned about your pet’s health, be sure to visit them to make sure everything is okay-- and to clear up any worries!