Great vet appointments – Pet tip 144
It has happened to us all before. You made up a list of questions cued up in your head to ask your veterinarian. However, when you get into the appointment room, you are busy answering any questions the vet poses to you, and helping hold or watching your pet. In what seems like no time at all, your cat is back in the carrier or dog has rushed to the door, waiting to leave. The veterinarian asks if you have any more questions, but you cannot for the life of you remember what they were now. This is quite normal, but how do you prevent this from occurring? Here are three simple pointers on how to organize yourself before a visit to the veterinarian.
1. Make a list
This is probably the single most efficient way to ensure you get all of your questions answered in a visit to the veterinarian. But that’s silly – I can remember a couple questions no problem! Don’t fall into this trap; it does not take very much time to write a simple list on a sheet of paper. You veterinarian will certainly not think any less of you. They may just praise you for being so concerned about your pet’s health. It is always a wise idea to double check your list before your appointment has finished even if you think you’ve gotten all your questions answered. Chances are that one of the questions has been forgotten and you will be kicking yourself when you get home! So what to write in this all-important list? This is completely your decision, add anything that you feel is important or have questions about. Some ideas include, concerns regarding your pet’s health, questions about pet products (what kind of kitty litter to use), and information you have heard from other sources to clarify or determine the truth behind them.
2. Ask the Hospital Support Staff
The receptionist and veterinary technicians are a wondrous aid to a client that has many questions. Before your veterinarian appointment, be sure to speak with either or both of these hospital support staff as the experienced ones will be able to give you excellent answers. However, you should double check with the veterinarian to ensure that this information is indeed correct. A newly hired receptionist may do their very best to help you out, but there is a chance they could give you mistaken information or might not be aware of all the options. As the veterinarian has limited time during your appointment, you want to focus on your pet’s health, so aim other questions at hospital support staff with a quick veterinarian clarification. This, in addition to your list will not eliminate all questions that may arise after your veterinarian visit is over. Do not feel bad about contacting the vet clinic if you have unanswered questions. They should be pleased and eager to help you out. It is probably best to clarify with your vet during the appointment how to contact the clinic and with whom you should speak. For example, if your pet is very ill and has taken a turn for the worse after the clinic has closed that night, you will want to have a telephone number to call to be able to get your pet treated as soon as possible.
3. Book an Appointment and be on Time
An appointment is a special time that your veterinarian has set aside just for you and your pet. They will focus all of their attention on your concerns and the animal at hand. However, your veterinarian will be unable to properly attend to you and your pet if they do not have the proper amount of time. Unfortunately, they are busy professionals that must run on a timeline – a very strict timeline. This is why it is of utmost importance to book an appointment beforehand. Most clinics actually require this, but even if they do not and try to squeeze you in, this will result in your veterinarian not having ample time for your appointment. Moreover, this will cause pandemonium for the rest of the day, as the doctor may be late for all other appointments. To prevent this from occurring, it is very important that you be on time, preferably early for your appointment. Of course, an emergency or animal that is genuinely sick is an exception that must always be seen as promptly as possible; do not hesitate to bring them in. Another common attitude among pet owners, which is understandable, is that the veterinarian seems to always be running late so it is okay to be a little bit late for their appointment. Please refrain from adopting this frame of mind – if an emergency has come in that has thrown the vet off schedule, they will try their very best to get back on track. If you are late, and they are on time, you will just make everyone else have to wait for the rest of the day. To solve this problem, make sure to book your appointment for a time in the day when you will not be in a rush, and bring a book or a newspaper to read while you wait. Come with the frame of mind that you will have a little bit of a wait, if the vet is on time or early take that as a bonus!
These simple guidelines will ensure that your veterinary appointment runs more smoothly, and you leave the clinic feeling satisfied that all of your questions have been answered.
By Laura Platt – Pets.ca writer