Ways to make veterinary visits better for everyone

A woman holds a cat while a male veterinarian with a stethoscope holds a clipboard in the background.

You and your veterinarian are partners in caring for your pet and keeping them healthy. Here are a few tips to make your veterinary visits even better: 

  • Take the time to help your pet get comfortable with their carrier, and with traveling in the car.
  • If your veterinarian doesn't already have your pet's medical record on file, bring a copy with you, or, if unavailable, your own notes on your pet's health and medical history. If your pet’s records are kept at another hospital, you can consent or arrange to have those records transferred to your veterinarian for you.
  • If unable to take your pet in yourself, send someone familiar with the animal’s personal and medical history, lifestyle, eating habits, and any concerns you have. Otherwise, provide your replacement with thorough notes on this important background information, and be available by phone to answer questions that may come up.
  • Arrive on time or a few minutes early for your appointment, or call ahead if you’re going to be late.
  • Minimize distractions and support a safe space for your pet by keeping your cell phone muted and any children calm while in the exam room.
  • Be ready to list any medications your pet is receiving (including supplements), as well as how much, how often, and for how long they’re given. Even better—bring the medications and their instructions with you.
  • Share your observations and concerns about your pet with the veterinary team, After all—you know your pet better than anyone else does. Also let the team know if you have any concerns about the care they’ve provided, so they may take steps to improve your and your pet’s experience.
  • Ask questions about anything you’re curious, concerned, or unclear about. Ask until you understand.
  • Ask for handouts, brochures, or even reputable online sources of information on any topics you’d like to learn more about, whether it be certain diseases, treatment options, general care recommendations, or something else.
  • Follow any treatment plans or other recommendations that you and your veterinarian have agreed upon. You both have the same goal: to keep your pet healthy and happy for as long as possible.

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Demystify your vet visits

Use the Positive Pet Care Guide to learn what you can expect from your veterinarian, and how you can contribute to your pet's care.

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