Getting the Most Out of Your Visit With the Vet

January 20, 2016

by Dr. Hope Jankunas

Dog having ear examination at veterinary clinic

  1. Bring your pet’s full vaccine history and medical record with you, or better yet, have it sent ahead of time. The medical record contains important information that your vet will want to know, especially if she is seeing your pet for the first time or if your pet has had past illnesses or ongoing issues.  If you have past blood test results, we will certainly want to see those, too!


  1. Your vet will want to know about your pet’s diet, so take note of the brand and flavor (or take a photo of the bag or can) of food that your pet eats, and try to determine out how much (in standard measuring cups) he or she consumes daily. Don’t forget treats and table scraps as well!  Unfortunately, the majority of pets we see are overweight, and knowing how much of what type of food they are eating is the first step in devising a diet plan for weight loss, if needed.  Diet also plays an important role in gastrointestinal issues and skin allergies.


  1. Record the medications that your pet is receiving, or bring in the bottles, so that we can review them together. This includes pharmacy items and over the counter medications, supplements and vitamins.  Make note of the brand and when your pet last received his or her flea, tick and heartworm preventative.


  1. We most likely will want to check your pet for intestinal parasites, so please bring a fresh stool sample with you.


  1. If you have noticed a change in the frequency or volume of your pet’s thirst or urination, please also bring a urine sample. Use a clean, disposable container, but don’t disinfect with hydrogen peroxide or bleach as these chemicals can falsely alter the results of the test.


  1. If your pet is not going to be brought in by the primary caregiver, make sure that all parties involved discuss any concerns that may exist ahead of time. Feel free to send a note in with your pet or write us an email.  You can also visit our website ( and fill out the drop-off exam form.


  1. We try to make the experience as positive as possible, which means we like to give lots of treats during the visit! If your pet has a special diet or is finicky about the treats he or she will eat, please bring something yummy from home.  To help make your pet more receptive to treats, don’t feed him or her prior to the exam.


  1. For safety, please make sure that your pet is leashed or in a carrier before you enter the waiting room.


  1. If your cat is anxious about getting into the carrier, please read the “How to Get Your Cat to the Vet” handout. If your dog is anxious about car rides or coming to the vet, please read the “Preparing Your Dog to See the Vet” handout.


  1. If your pet suffers from motion sickness on car rides, talk to your vet prior to the visit about steps that can be taken to avoid nausea that may contribute to anxiety about visiting the vet.

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