For many of us, dogs are our constant companions. Furry and frolicking bundles of fun, they provide a vibrant and cheery buoyancy to our lives. Keeping our beloved dogs happy and healthy are the top priorities for any dog owner.
As with humans, dogs get sick too. Just like us, they need regular checkups, preventative care, and medication if necessary. Fortunately, veterinarians can expertly treat our precious pups whether they are sick or injured, coming in for a regular checkup or even if they are coming in for their first visit!
The first visit to a veterinarian for veterinary care is a unique experience. With the initial visit, you are establishing the beginnings of proper medical pet care for your pup. This is an animal you love and care for and that you are committed to ensuring its level of health and happiness throughout its lifetime.
This is an animal you love and care for and you are committed to ensuring its level of health and happiness throughout its lifetime.
Whether your puppy or dog came from a local shelter or was purchased from a high-end dog breeder or if you decided to finally bite the bullet and obtain medical care for your dog, making appointments with a local veterinarian is important.
Having a trusted and experienced veterinarian administrate a basic checkup will bring peace of mind to any family.
Before your first visit, it is prudent to come prepared knowing what to expect and with any questions or concerns you may have about professional conduct, pet care, and emergency coverage.
Your 1st Visit to the Veterinarian:
- For the first visit: Visit the clinic before scheduling the initial appointment. Not all veterinarian clinics are the same. Make sure you feel comfortable with the staff and environment.
- Checking out the clinic doesn’t have to be anything serious. You don’t have to feel like are on a secret mission. Merely chat with the receptionists up front. Do they seem rushed or hurried? Did they keep you waiting for a long time? Glance around at the surroundings. If possible, try to meet the vet for a minute just to introduce yourself. Most vets will take the time to chat with prospective clients about their questions and concerns or even for a quick introduction.
- The interaction with the veterinarian will perhaps be the most important factor in deciding if you are at the right clinic. Your interaction with the veterinarian should be polite, cordial, and respectful.
- When your pet falls sick, you need to be able to trust in the clinic you choose to hire. You need to know in times of crisis, they will treat you respectfully, expeditiously, and produce effective results without issue. Ideally, you want to feel at ease and be treated by kind and supportive staff, within a clean facility.
- Patience is important in this regard. Locating the right clinic for you and your pet will be a decision that will be beneficial for years to come. Once you have found the perfect clinic, prepare for your first visit by bringing in a short list of questions and concerns (listed at the end of this article). Also, be aware that many veterinarian clinics expect certain rules to be followed.
- On the first day of your visit to the clinic, bring any pertinent paperwork like medical records or shot records you have. Ensure that the vet includes the records you bring into your dog’s file for future reference.
- Usually, the vet will perform an initial checkup and will weigh the puppy, listen to its heart and lungs, take its temperature, before determining your dog is healthy and safe. More than likely, the veterinarian will examine your puppy’s feces and it would be wise to bring a sample with you if possible. Doing so enables you to obtain the quickest answer as to whether your puppy has roundworms.
- While at the initial appointment, you want to be able to discuss your puppy’s history.
- If you have questions about feeding a new puppy or how to handle any medical issues the puppy might have, questions about administering medication to the puppy, or information about spaying and neutering, asking at the initial appointment with the vet will be the opportune time. The last thing you want to do is go home with a puppy or dog that you do not know how to take care of or administer medicine to.
- You want to inquire about the frequency of future care, including checkups and non-emergency appointments where your pet falls ill. Many clinics offer 24-hour services that may prove to be a consideration for you.
- At the end of your appointment, make sure to set up an appointment for any necessary follow-up visits for vaccinations or checkups. Many clinics offer reminder service. Ask if they can give you a courtesy call to remind you of your upcoming appointment.
- When you leave your first visit at the veterinarian’s office, consider the experience as a collective whole. Did you feel at ease? Were the staff friendly? Was it a clean facility? Did the veterinarian take the time to engage with you? Did you feel comfortable with the process? Throughout a dog’s life, there will inevitably be stressful times. You want the best fit for you and your pet.
QUICK CHEAT SHEET
(questions to ask, things to do, and what to look out for)
|Make initial visit Ensure staff are courteous, responsive, and kind. Introduce yourself to the vet. Note how they answer your concerns. Are they dismissive? Engaged?||Are your concerns readily addressed? Are you brushed off? Check for cleanliness. Know that many dogs pass through there every day.||At the appointment, discuss your dog’s history with the vet and take notes of the response and insight they offer in return.||Find out how to handle any medical issues or administering of medication. Find out medication dosing schedules and administration techniques.||Set up follow-up visits for vaccinations, checkups, lab results, spaying, or neutering. Ask for a courtesy call to remind you of your upcoming appointment.|
|If possible, bring a feces sample from your dog to find out roundworm test results.||Do any of the staff seem hurried, overworked, and stressed? Remember, you want to be able to provide your pet with exemplary care.||Bring medical records or shot records. Ensure the vet includes the records you bring into your dog’s file for future reference.||Inquire about future care and checkups. Non-emergency appointments and emergency care hours. Many clinics offer 24-hour services.||Take time to reflect. Was it a good experience? Do you feel your dog is safe there and will be treated well? Do you feel you will be treated well?|