As a pet owner, one of the main tasks of pet ownership includes taking your pet to the vet. A veterinarian is a specialized doctor who works with animals. Of course, some vets specialize in working with different types of pets than others. There are large animals vets, reptilian vets and general practice vets. Similar to human doctors, vets can specialize in different areas, including surgeries and cardiology. However, your pet should have a primary care vet that they see annually to cover the general health assessments. While some vets prefer to see their patients every six months, some vets are comfortable with seeing their patients every year. Here are some tips on preparing for your pet’s annual visit to the vet!
Make Sure You Know Their Updated Information
Having updated information is essential when your pet is visiting the vet. Some of the common updates you should complete include your address, phone number and any medical concerns. Prior to your appointment, update the information in their patient portal if it’s available or order them a silicone pet tag that features enough space for updated, important information. When you don’t have their updated information, you might miss important updates from your vet. Plus, if your pet accidentally runs away, someone finds them and happens to take them to your pet’s vet, they’ll be able to contact you much faster than if you don’t have any updated info.
Double-Check If You Should Give Them Food Beforehand
Depending on the types of tests your pet’s vet will be conducting, they might not want your pet eating before coming in for their visit. This is especially if your pet will be receiving any type of anesthesia, or if they’ll be getting bloodwork done. Some tests your vet will run on your pet may produce invalid results if your pet has had something to eat beforehand.
Make sure you check the pre-appointment messages and paperwork your vet has provided you. If you can’t locate any of them, give your vet a call beforehand. Many vets will give you a phone call confirmation a day or two before your appointment and provide you with that information as well. Either way, double-checking if your pet should have food will help their visit go much better.
Make Sure They Drink Water
Your pet should drink lots of water and feel hydrated before their appointment. Make sure they have lots of water available to drink before you take them to their vet. Being hydrated will go a long way toward your pet feeling less anxious when they’re in the car or at the office. Some pets may have to take medicines before heading to the vet. Some of these meds can cause dehydration, or they can make your pet thirstier. Having water available for them can go a long way in ensuring they’re comfortable and less anxious about their vet visit!
Arrive a Few Minutes Early
While you might have a specific appointment time, it’s important you arrive a few minutes early. This way, you can easily ensure that you get to ask any questions, answer any additional ones from your vet and even get your pet weighed before their appointment. You can discuss pick-up times if you’re dropping your pet off or any additional concerns you have that you want the vet to check on. It also shows that you respect your vet’s time and care about getting your pet the care they need.
Outfit Their Carrier with a Blanket or Cushion
If you have a cat or small dog that uses a pet carrier, consider getting them a cushion or a blanket to go in the bottom of their carrier. This will help it to feel more comfortable when traveling or waiting at the vet. Instead of it being cold or feeling rough underneath them, the cushion will help it to feel much better and bearable.
You may have to wait for a bit at the vet before they take your pet back. Having a blanket or cushion inside their carrier will help them to feel more at ease and comfortable while they wait. Plus, if your pet has anxiety, having a blanket or something from home that smells like them or what they’re comfortable with can help to make them less nervous at the vet.
There are lots of vets out there who will let you bring small items from home with your pet when they visit the vet’s office. Blankets, toys, clothes, and even their collar can make them feel more at home. Just make sure to have their collar outfitted with a trackable tag, such as a Tile for pets, so that you can find it at the vet’s office if it accidentally gets lost!
Write Down Their Medications
If you’re visiting a new vet, or you’re a returning patient after taking a break, you’ll want to write down all your pets’ medications. This way, when you take them in, you won’t be blank when you fill out paperwork. It’s also helpful for your vet to know what medicines your pet is taking because it helps them determine if the meds are causing any changes in blood work levels. Having your pets’ meds written down before going to their annual appointment will go a long way in making the first few steps at the appointment flow more smoothly.
The Bottom Line
Overall, prepping for your pet’s annual wellness visit doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Instead, by completing just a few simple steps, you can easily ensure your pet’s annual visit at the vet goes smoothly for you, your pet and their vet. Whether you update their information or you put a soft blanket in their carrier is up to you, but you’ll thank yourself later for taking the necessary steps beforehand.