Pet Care

Going to the Veterinarian: Preparations

Pet Gastrointestinal Issues

Managing Pet Obesity

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Preparing to Visit the Veterinarian

Whether it’s for a routine checkup of an urgent issue, your veterinarian is a key partner in your pet’s health. By preparing for a visit, you can make your time together more effective.


Before your veterinary appointment:

  • Be sure you know if the veterinarian needs anything special for the appointment, such as samples.
  • Make a list of any medications or treatments your dog is receiving.
  • Inventory any treatments, such as medications, heartworm pills or flea and tick treatments, so you know if you need a refill.
  • Even for a routine checkup, observe your cat or dog closely in the days leading up to the visit. Check ears, eyes and coat for anything unusual. Observe any behavior changes – is your pet moving differently, or not doing things he used to? Any changes to eating or elimination? Ask your veterinarian about anything of note.
  • If your visit is for a specific issue or concern, write down any symptoms, when they happened, and any possible triggers. The more detailed the information your veterinarian has about what happens outside the office, the more informed her diagnosis will be.
  • And of course, remember to prepare for your pet’s time in the office – even if your pet is calm and well-behaved, this can be a stressful and unpredictable situation for pets. Be sure to have a carrier for your cat or leash for your dog so you can keep waiting-room interactions under control.