A visit to the vet can be a daunting prospect for our patients as well as the people who love them. Whether your pet is coming in for a routine wellness visit and vaccines or because he’s sick or injured, there are some easy things to keep in mind that may help the visit go more smoothly and hopefully avoid any traumatic experiences.
There are a few things you can do before you even arrive at the clinic. Make sure that you’ve given yourself sufficient time to get your furry or scaly friend loaded into the vehicle; the last minute “tag” session to catch Fido in the yard or extricate Fluffy from under the bed may add to your stress! Cats are notoriously fussy about getting into their pet carriers. If the only time your feline friend sees their crate is before a vet visit, they are likely to be even more reluctant to cooperate. If your kitty is more comfortable around the carrier it may be easier to get them in the day of. By making the carrier a safe place where Fluffy feels comfortable, you may avoid delays on the day of your appointment. Our daily schedule is normally pretty full so it is important that you arrive on time; we appreciate your arrival about five minutes before your reserved check-in time. If you are running late or will be unable to make your appointment, please alert us as soon as possible in case other arrangements need to be made.
When you join us at the clinic, it may look like you and your pet are the only appointment here. It’s important to remember that there may be a hospitalized patient or three just out of sight, or that another pet may arrive shortly after you. For the safety of all bi- and quadrupeds involved, make sure your pet is well controlled, whether with a short leash or in a pet carrier. Retractable leashes or “Flexi-leads” are ok to use only if you have the leash locked on a short setting; the thin rope-like cord of the retractable leash can cause severe burns, deep cuts, entanglement or strangulations. Don’t let your pet explore to the end of the lead as it is possible there may be another critter just around the corner. Even the best trained and most well-behaved pets should be leashed or kenneled for their safety; the next animal to walk in may not be as sociable or willing to make new friends as your pet! Besides the level of friendliness of the animals involved, don’t forget that these pets may be coming to the vet because they’re feeling unwell. Your pet shouldn’t be allowed to interact with another patient in case it may be contagious. We are always happy to lend you a leash or kennel for your visit.
If your pet has an accident or becomes sick, don’t worry! You can rest assured that it is not the first time it has happened here and it certainly won’t be the last. From liquids to solids and everything in between, the staff is trained on proper cleaning and disinfecting protocol; just let us know and we will get it cleaned up. Feel free to use the field to the East of the clinic to allow your dog to relieve himself before entering the clinic; doggie bags are provided by the trash can. If Spot chooses not to relieve himself in the field and leaves a mess on the sidewalk leading to the entrance or around the landscaping, please let us know and we will clean up right away so other dogs don’t follow suit.
If you made an appointment when you had no concerns but now Louie is limping, keep us in the loop as this may change how your appointment is structured; we want to make sure that there is sufficient time to address everything. Rowdy may be reluctant to come to the vet all by himself and would feel more comfortable if his brother Buddy is along for moral support. We always welcome additional animal friends to be here for the appointment to keep everyone content, but we do need to make a separate appointment if Buddy needs anything addressed. Because our daily schedule is almost always full, it’s likely that there wouldn’t be enough time set aside to have both pets seen. On the other hand, if you had scheduled appointments for both Luke and Leia but no longer need to have one of them seen, please give us as much notice as possible. We try to help as many patients as we can every day so if you won’t be using your full appointment time this may give another pet the opportunity to be seen.
During the appointment, a technician will collect a history to relay to the doctor. If you get nervous being put on the spot and think you may forget important details, bring along a list of questions or concerns. Please be honest in answering questions; as your pet can’t speak for herself, you are her best advocate to make sure she receives the appropriate care. Make sure your cell phone is on silent and put away so your full attention can be with your pet’s care team. If you are unable to be here and are relying on a friend or family member to bring Buster to his appointment make sure you notify us beforehand so we can get all the pertinent details from you. We also request that you fill out a Medical Pet Care Authorization form if someone other than the owner of the pet will be bringing the pet in for care. While not under the same regulations as human medical facilities regarding patient privacy, we do our best to ensure that your personal information isn’t shared with unauthorized parties.
Your critter will likely be taken to the treatment area to complete the exam and receive treatments. Surprisingly, the animals are nearly always more relaxed when they go to the treatment area as they don’t feel like they have to protect (or hide behind) their parents! Some pet parents are uncomfortable having their pet removed and would prefer to have everything done in front of them. Understandably, there are certain diagnostic tests and treatments that must be performed in the treatment area such as x-rays or oxygen therapy. Please inform us of your preferences and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
The doctor may have some further recommendations for diagnostic testing or medications after completing the examination. Of course, the final decision is yours whether you’d like to proceed, and sometimes finances will dictate what you can reasonably afford to have done. If you request, we will provide an itemized treatment plan of recommended services so you are better able to plan what to do today and what can be done later. Payment is due at the time service is rendered and periodically a deposit will be required to book a procedure. We accept cash, checks, credit and debit cards; we offer Care Credit to our clients as well. As pet lovers and owners ourselves, we all understand that budgeting for your fur-baby’s medical care is important. Please don’t hesitate to ask for an itemized estimate for any appointment, procedure or even medications.
Let us know right away after your appointment if you still have questions; we want to ensure that everything has been explained as thoroughly as possible. The primary objective of everyone here is to guarantee the best care of your critters in every situation. Keeping open communication with your pet’s care team will make sure that your fur-baby continues to receive appropriate attention for on-going issues, or even help maintain their healthy lifestyle. Never hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns regarding your animals. You can reach the clinic with an e-mail, phone call or text message.
We are proud to be an important part of your pet’s happiness and wellbeing and want to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible when you and your furry or scaly family member visit us.