Preparing for Your Pet’s First Visit to the Vet
Your pet’s first visit to the vet may be their most important. That’s because this visit will set the tone for how they’ll feel about veterinarians in general throughout the course of their life.
Of course, we want your pet to feel as comfortable as possible. That’s why we’ve compiled the following 5 preparation tips.
1. Gather important information.
You’ll want to gather as much important information about your pet as possible. This includes:
- A list of any previous medical reports, vaccinations, or procedures they’ve already had
- A list of their current medications
- The brands, types, and amounts of food and treats you’ve been regularly feeding them
- Any symptoms or unusual behaviors they’ve been exhibiting
- A list of any other concerns you may have
Stool sample: When arranging your appointment, a veterinarian staff member may request that you bring in a stool sample. It’s easier to get this at home, so if possible, gather the sample (in a plastic bag) a few hours before their appointment. This may be a good time to take energetic dogs on a walk to expend some excess energy before they come in too.
2. Avoid feeding your pet directly before their vet visit.
Again, it’s important that your pet is happy and excited about their time at the vet. This can be partially achieved by providing them with positive reinforcement during their visit — i.e., treats!
So that they’re actually hungry for treats when they arrive, don’t feed your pet for about 1 to 2 hours before their visit.
3. Ensure a comfortable car ride for your pet.
Pets can become apprehensive in the car because they naturally don’t know where they’re going. Try to make the ride as smooth and comfortable as possible by:
- Keeping them in the back seat for safety (and crating and buckling small dogs and cats)
- Playing soothing music
- Rolling down the windows (to a safe level) if they enjoy that
- Keeping the vehicle at a comfortable temperature
- Speaking soothingly to them.
4. Use a leash with your pet.
Because there may be other animals in the waiting room, we ask that you attach your pet to a short-length leash when bringing them in. If your dog is large and anxious or excitable, you might consider a crate as well.
5. Consider a pre-appointment introductory visit.
Lastly, if you feel your pet is especially skittish or nervous, consider a pre-appointment visit where you simply introduce your pet to the veterinarian’s office and allow them to meet and play with the vet and staff for a few minutes. This visit won’t be clinical, so it can help familiarize your pet with the smells and sounds of this new setting and group of people without the anxiety of an exam.
Does Your Pet Have a Veterinarian Yet?
If you’re still on the lookout for a new vet for your pet, Sunset Veterinary Clinic is here to serve you. Our veterinarians are highly skilled and trained, and everyone at our office loves meeting and treating new members of our pet family each day!
To book your appointment at Sunset Veterinary Clinic, give us a call!