Often times when owners are bringing their pets in, it can feel overwhelming with how much they are supposed to remember about their pets. Here are some tips on making a visit to the clinic easier for both you and the veterinarian:
- Know what food your pet is eating. This is important information as the Vet wants to ensure you are feeding an appropriate and balanced food. If you can’t remember the name, you can write it down or take a picture of the bag. It is also helpful to know how much they are getting per day. If you are not using a measuring cup, try to have an estimate of the quantity you are feeding them. The same goes for any treats they are getting to make sure they are appropriate for your pet. If you are feeding “people food” please let the vet know- certain foods are not safe for pets and some owners may not know this without the vet telling them.
- Know what medications or supplements they are being given. If there are several people in the house responsible for giving medications, we need to know that they are getting the correct dose consistently. This is especially important if we are doing blood work monitoring the effect of the said medication. If your pet is getting a supplement, write down or take a picture of the ingredients and the concentration (strength) in the supplement. This includes any herbal or holistic supplements such as essential oils. Again, the vet needs to ensure the dose is appropriate and that the herbal substances are pet-safe.
- If your pet has previously been to other clinics, be sure to bring a copy of the medical history or to contact the previous clinic and have them send it directly to our clinic. It is important for the Vet to be able to know what, if any vaccines are due; as well as knowing any medical history such as surgeries or medication reactions.
- Know the travel/house hold history. Knowing the travel/household history can help the vet make a diagnosis. For example, specific parasites are more prevalent in certain provinces/countries so if you have travelled; your pet may have been exposed to a parasite that wouldn’t be here. Changes in the household/environment can also be a contributing factor to changes in behaviour and may be useful for the vet to know.
- Keep in mind what works/doesn’t work for your pet. All animals react to vet clinics differently. If you know that your cat will lunge out of their carrier, please give the veterinary staff notice! If your dog needs to come in through the back door because they are afraid of traffic, tell us! We want to keep you and your pet as low stress as possible and are willing to do what works for you/them.
Hopefully knowing these things will help make you and your veterinarian’s time together more straightforward and less stressful! More information is always better than less and is greatly appreciated.
Written by Liz Wall, RAHT