Our Top Five Tips to Prepare Your Dog for a Great Vet Visit
It is such an important part of your pet’s preventive and wellness care program to be sure they come in to see us at Androscoggin Animal Hospital regularly. Visiting the vet can be worrisome for some pets, though, and nerve-wracking for pet owners, too. Not to worry, though! We have some great tips to prepare you and your dog for a successful vet visit.
Tips for a Great Vet Visit
There are definitely a few ways that you can make coming to see our veterinarians a little less daunting. Knowing what to expect and planning a little in advance can make a big difference.
Our top tips to ensure a good vet visit include:
1. Be prepared—Making sure that someone knowledgeable about your pet’s care is available during the visit can make a world of difference. Our staff will be asking a lot of questions about how your pet is doing at home, their diet, medications, and any concerns you might have. We will likely also recommend screening tests or treatments for which we need permission. You might want to write down your questions and concerns ahead of time so that nothing is forgotten. Take some time to review our wellness plans ahead of time so that you can consider them for your pet. Please also bring along any medical records, medications, or supplements that your pet is taking, especially if we have not prescribed them. Much miscommunication and frustration during vet visits happens because the appropriate person responsible for the pet’s care and health decisions is not present or available during the appointment.
2. Give yourself plenty of time—We are not perfect and sometimes emergencies arise, but we do our best to run on time. When you are a few minutes late to an appointment, it can definitely affect the rest of our schedule. Appointments can take between 15 and 30 minutes, and if you arrive significantly late, it can also cut into our time with you and your pet. Doing your best to arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment time will allow us to give you and your pet our full attention.
3. Bring Your Pet Hungry—The vet’s office can be intimidating for many pets. Luckily, many of our furry patients can be won over with some treats. Bringing them a little hungry can help to increase their interest in our offerings as anxiety can make food a little less appealing. You can also bring along some favorite treats or toys from home. This is especially helpful if you have a pickier pet, one with a sensitive stomach, or one that requires a special diet.
4. Ask us if you have an anxious pet—Anxiety about vet visits is very common in our patients. Please contact us for help if your pet has trouble with car rides, entering the building, or is stressed for their visit. There are often adjustments that we can make or medications that we can prescribe to minimize trouble. With many Fear Free certified staff members on our team, this is very important to us!
5. Travel in style — Your visit starts in your vehicle. Making sure that your pet arrives safely is important, and a good car ride can set them up for a less stressful visit. Be sure that your pet is wearing a well-fitted collar or harness and has a secure flat lead (flexi-leads are not recommended). Pets should travel in a safety harness or secure carrier. Be sure to ask for help if your pet experiences anxiety or nausea during travel.
Every Pet is Different
Not all pets are created equal and the same things don’t work in every situation. If there is a certain element that makes vet visits difficult for you, please let us know! We are happy to try to help troubleshoot and make every visit a good one.
If it is your pet’s first time with us, being sure to give yourself lots of time and write down your questions so you remember to ask them. Be sure to fill out your new client form for us! After we meet you and your pet, we will spend some time asking questions and getting to know each other then discuss recommendations for the visit. During a wellness examination, pets also receive a nose-to-tail examination, with findings and follow-up recommendations being discussed.
Our goal is to offer quality, proactive care for your pet. You can help us do this better with your participation! We hope that you won’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions and concerns.