Making the Most out of Your Veterinary Visit


Going to the veterinarian can bring along a big expense and making sure you make the most of it is important. Your appointment may only be 15 minutes but sometimes can stem up to an hour depending on what you are seeing your veterinarian for. Regardless of the reasons there are things that pet owners do, when they really aren’t taking full advantage of being there.

So how can you take full advantage of seeing your veterinarian?

Be upfront and honest about your animal’s temperament.

We see it all the time. We approach an animal and after petting and getting down on the floor the client goes, “He must really like you. Normally he would snap.” Tell us the truth. We don’t want anyone getting hurt. We look out for the safety of our pets, clients and staff. If your animal is not the best at the veterinarian, it is ok. We will restrain them properly and avoid any issues if you are honest.

Bring a leash or carrier

I have seen it too often. An owner thinks their dog is off leash trained, which they may be, but the dog aggressive dog coming out of the room that the owner may not have the best handle on is not. They can attack. It has happened and I had to treat the dog that was off the leash for bite wounds. All of which would have been avoided if they had their dog on a leash.

If you come in with a cat, please have a carrier. Cats can get scared very easily and it means they are jumping out of your arms and running. I have seen cats run in the woods and were gone, all because the owner felt the cat was good enough to be brought into the veterinary office without a carrier.

Be on time

As with any other doctor a veterinarian’s office has appointment times for a reason. If you are going to be late, call them and let them know. They may not be able to see you. If you miss your appointment and they want to reschedule you, don’t yell at the staff. The veterinarian sees anywhere from 17-30 pets a day. That is a full schedule and if you show up late and demand to be seen, you won’t get the proper appointment needed for your pet because now your veterinarian is rushing.

Be honest about your pet’s information

If you dog ate a ham bone, don’t leave it out. If he got into something that may not be legal, tell us. We are here to help your pets, but without all the information we can’t do our jobs. If we don’t know all the facts we can be missing something that will in turn help save your animal. So as embarrassing as it may be, be honest, we don’t judge. Truth be told, we basically have seen it all.

Cell phones should be silent

When I am talking to a client about their pet and they are just staring at the phone, answer calls or even talking on Facetime to someone about something completely not related to their pet it is rude and I know they don’t hear what I am saying. Then I get phone calls stating that what I did, didn’t work. If you listen to your veterinarian properly without distraction this can help with the care of your pet.

Don’t use Dr Google, Facebook or any un-reputable sites for information

This is one thing that makes our jobs very frustrating. We are fighting with a huge amount of wrong information on the internet. I have seen many animals come in sick and a lot worse by listening to many sites. Your veterinarian can give you the information that is needed. If you want to look online, ask them what sites would be the best to get the information from.

Don’t let your dog introduce themselves to other dogs

This ends up most of the time in a dog fight or one growling at the other. There are a lot of smells, anxiety and stress at a veterinarian’s office for dogs. If they don’t like the other dog or if they just are stressed out they can snap, even if it is out of character.

Be honest about finances

As a veterinarian our job is to give you all the options, all the information. It is up to you as the owner to make the decision on how far you want to proceed and what you would like to do. We do not judge at all with your decisions. I have had people apologize to me for not being able to do the “gold standard.” There is no reason to apologize. Everyone has their limits and if you are honest with us, we will be honest with you on what we can do to make your pet better.

Be nice to the staff

We are truly here to help you and your pet. Be nice to us. We understand that many people take things out on the staff because they are upset or angry, but we will do everything in our power to save your pet. Life in a Disrespected Profession.

Interested in becoming a veterinarian? Stay tuned for the PawBark podcast. Sign up and we will send you updates on its release date!  

Do you have a pet and have questions? Head on over to Ask The Veterinarian


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