Visiting the vet for a routine check-up or for a health concern throughout your pet's life can be made easier and more successful. You shall follow the steps below.
Get your pet used to handling from a young age. It is very important that your pet is used to having his mouth inspected, his feet and nails touched and to being lifted up and moved around. It is also really useful to familiarise your pet with being transported in the car from an early age as well. The familiarity with handling and travelling will ease a lot of the tension for your pet and it also makes it much easier for you and the vet to look for health problems and to administer medication.
Keep your pet restrained or boxed. When transporting your pet, make sure that she is properly restrained in the car for her and your family's safety. For cats, rabbits, rodents, small dogs, etc. a carrier basket is appropriate. For larger dogs, they might need safety belt restraints or a special dog compartment in the back of the car. Once in the vet's, do not let your pet wander about freely. Many other owners with their pets will be in there and it is very easy for things to get out of control when pets confront one another. Most vets will expect that you keep your pet in its box or on its leash.
Make notes. If something is bothering you about your pet, it is really helpful to keep notes about the things that you notice, such as reduced appetite, biting one area of the body, pacing, making strange noises, vomiting etc. This will help explain the problem to the vet and you will be able to provide information about the duration of the problem, the precise symptoms and the reactions that you have noticed in your pet.
Ask the veterinary receptionist for advice on what to do ahead of the appointment. Give a brief explanation of the problem and ask the receptionist if you need to bring a urine or stool sample, not feed your pet, or do anything else in particular.
Be an active participant in your pet's examination. Sometimes the worry about a pet's condition can cause us to forget any questions that we may have had at home. The answer to this is to write them down as they come to you at home and bring them with you to the vet. Ask also if there are any reliable internet references that you can use. Some things to ask about include:
Discuss your pet's dietary habits. It is always helpful to briefly discuss your pet's diet, especially during routine check-ups. Many vets will likely ask about this but if not, bring the topic up yourself. As your pet grows, different needs for nutrients will occur and if you are not sure about these, ask. If your pet has particular problems, ask if there is anything about your pet's diet that needs changing.
Ask about dental issues. Related to a good diet, often we don't consider the dental needs of pets. It is important to ask about dietary habits that promote good teeth. Be aware that cleaning an animal's teeth is usually a major exercise requiring general anaesthetic, so getting it right to begin with is important.
Discuss any grooming challenges that you are facing. If you are finding long hair is causing problems, ask the vet for solutions. It is important to know what to do, as a severely matted pet may have to undergo general anaesthetic to have the matted fur removed.
Keep records of vaccinations. Even if you rely on the vet to keep records, it is good to also maintain your own records. Bring them to the vet every time and have the records filled out. This will assist you to remember what has been done, when the next vaccinations are due and is also handy if you change your vet.
Ask for a demonstration of giving medication. Don't be afraid to ask the vet to show you how to give a prescribed medication. Vets are more than happy to show you and be reassured that you fully understand what needs to be done. If you prefer the vet to give regular medications, such as worming tablets, that's fine too provided that you can afford frequent visits.
Be sure to discuss all of the items and services offered for purchase by technicians. Some items can be bought on-line much cheaper or may be postponed while some may save you a lot of money in the long run.
When starting puppies and kittens on vaccines, be prepared to make at least 3 visits and spend around $100 per visit.
Most of the on-line medications that have been mentioned above are not guaranteed by the companies that make the drugs due to the way in which they purchase or obtain the drugs. While a lot are cheaper, if you ask you vet and bring in a copy of the price, most will match what is being offered online and you can then be sure of the quality of your product.
If your pet has had problems with vomiting, diarrhea or urine, bring a sample to the vet with you.
Do not feed your animal if you think x-rays will be needed. The food in the stomach can sometimes block the view of organs such as stomach, intestines, and bladder.
Ask about all costs of any procedures, including care after the initial procedure. A procedure may cost several hundred more than first anticipated when you include the vet care necessary after the first procedure is through. This may help you plan ahead and sort out your finances as needed.