Spring is the time for renewal and a launch into a wonderful summer. Many pet owners make their pet's annual check-up part of their "spring cleaning".
Here are thoughts to make the visit as stress-free and productive as possible, both for dogs and cats.
- Accustom your pet to her carrier and to traveling in the car. For most pups this is a no-brainer, although we do know some who get car sick. If it is possible, work out strategies to calm such a pup like sitting in the back seat with her and playing quietly with a favorite toy. Do not feed her before you travel.
Cats are a whole other story. For them, acclimating to the carrier is a serious, albeit necessary, undertaking. You know your cat best whether to use "familiarity" or "surprise" to reach your goal. If the latter, you may glean some ideas from our blog on How to Bathe a Cat.
- If your veterinarian doesn't already have your pet's medical records on file, bring them with you or have your previous veterinary team send or fax the records. At a minimum, write out and bring your own notes on your pet's health and medical history - you don't want to forget something important. Don't send your pet with a person who doesn't have the information the vet will need to help your pet. But if you must do this, thoroughly document your pet's current condition on paper and make sure you're available by phone to answer questions that may come up.
- Arrive on time or a few minutes early for your appointment.
- Unless your children can sit quietly without distracting you or interfering with your veterinary team's ability to examine or treat your pet or talk to you about your pet, consider leaving your children with a babysitter while you take your pet to the veterinarian.
- Turn your cell phone off while you are in the exam room.
- Know what medications your pet is receiving (including supplements), as well as how much, how often and how long it is given, and/or bring them with you.
- Share your observations and concerns with your veterinarian – after all, you know your pet better than anyone else does.
- Ask questions. Ask until you understand.
- Ask for handouts, brochures, or even reputable online sources of information about your pet's condition.
- Follow your veterinarian's recommendations. They're given for one very important reason – to keep your pet healthy.