Making sure your pup is healthy is of paramount importance to pet owners. When going to the vet for a routine check-up, or in the case of illness or injury, it’s important to maximize the visit to get the most out of it and ensure your dog is in the best shape possible.
All too often, pet parents unknowingly do things that hinder their time with the vet. To make sure the next visit to the vet goes smoothly, don’t make these common mistakes.
Leash is the Law
Even if your dog is a perfect angel unleashed, put him on a non-retractable leash when you enter the doctor’s office. With so many pets present, unusual smells and noises, vet staff prefers that all pets be leashed to avoid potential issues.
Having an overly social dog at the vet can actually do more harm than good. If your dog likes to make friends, a vet’s office isn’t the place to do it. Other pets may be sick or simply not be as open to uninvited canine attention. If you know your dog is a social butterfly, inform the vet staff and see if you and your dog can wait in an open exam room rather than the waiting room.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your dog isn’t a people person, let the vet know this ahead of time. See how your pup is reacting to waiting with others and if he’s frightened or aggressive, ask the staff if there is a private room you can wait in, or if the weather allows, let the staff know you’ll be outside until you’re called.
When you’re with the vet it’s time to put the phone down and focus. It’s important you are really listening to the updates your vet gives on your dog’s health and any action items you need to take to care for him at home.
For your dog to get the best care, it’s imperative that you provide your vet with accurate information. Don’t sugarcoat things to save face. If your dog is sick after you fed him a bag of Oreos, fess up. You also want your vet to have your dog’s complete health history. Sending records ahead of a visit with a new vet is ideal, but if that isn’t possible, make sure to bring it the day of the appointment.
If you don’t understand anything the vet is telling you, speak up! Never feel like it’s stupid to ask for further clarification. To give your pup the best care, you have to really understand what the vet says. The vet understands you aren’t a doctor and expects and welcomes questions.
The entire visit at the vet was for nothing if you don’t take the vets advice on any follow up needed.
The worst mistake a pet owner can make is not going to the vet at all. Even if your dog is healthy as a horse, annual vet exams are important for prevention and confirming your pup is as healthy as you think he is.