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Making the Most of Your Vet Visit

Monday, February 01, 2016

Jessica McFadden
Garden State Veterinary Specialists

When it comes to taking your pet to the vet, always be prepared. Whether itís a routine appointment or an appointment to check your petís symptoms, there are steps you can take to reduce your petís stress level and make sure your appointment goes well.

Pets may not enjoy traveling in cars; therefore, it is important to accustom your pet to its carrier and traveling in the car, so they are comfortable. Always keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier when around other animals to ensure the safety of all pets.

For a petís first vet visit, share any observations and concerns you have regarding your pet with the veterinarian. Be prepared to explain any behavioral changes, whether itís drinking habits, appetite, playfulness, energy level or other behaviors like vomiting or diarrhea. This will allow the veterinarian to examine the pet according to its symptoms. It is also important to inform the veterinarian if there are other pets living at home. If your pet is exhibiting behavioral problems at home, such as, circling, limping or seizuring; having video footage of your pet in the act will be helpful. Your pet may not exhibit the same behavior during an appointment at the veterinarianís office.

If you are going to a new veterinarian, all records from your previous veterinarian should be sent or faxed over before your appointment. It is important for the veterinarian to see all prior records to fully understand their medical history. Go to the appointment prepared to provide detailed information about the type of food your pet eats, along with any special diets, allergies and treats your pet may have. If your pet is currently taking any medications, know what the medications are. You should be able to tell the vet what your pet is receiving, how much is given and how long it is given. This is especially important when your pet is being referred to a Specialist for advanced diagnostics and treatment.

Arriving on time or a few minutes early for your appointment will allow you to get the most time to speak with your petís veterinarian. Ask questions until you fully understand what the veterinarian is telling you. Turning off cell phones, while in the exam room, will help visits proceed smoothly and with no interruptions. There will be fewer distractions, if your phone is off, which will allow you to ask more questions regarding your petís health and facilitate your understanding of your veterinarianís advice.

Before leaving, make sure to ask for handouts and brochures on information about your petís condition to help you better care for your pet. You want to make sure you clearly understand what you need to do to keep your pet healthy. Lastly, follow your veterinarianís recommendations.

The information contained in this article is based upon recommendations of the American Veterinary Medical Association. For further details please visit their website,

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the professional advice of your veterinarian.

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