Are you taking your pet to see a veterinarian for the first time and aren’t sure what to expect? Click here for insight into what your first visit might hold. Approximately 56 percent of households in the United States own at least one pet. Have you recently become part of this group? If so, then you’re probably getting ready to take your pet to the veterinarian for the first time. It’s normal to feel a little nervous about taking your pet to see the vet. Will the trip be stressful for your dog or cat? What can you expect from the visit? How much will it cost? Read on to learn answers to all of these questions. You’ll also learn some tips that will help the trip go as smoothly as possible.
Importance of Regular Veterinarian Visits
First things first, let’s go over why it’s so important to take your pet to the vet on a regular basis. Regular vet visits provide a lot of benefits to you and your pet, including the following:
- Stay on top of vaccinations to prevent common illnesses
- Make sure your pet is growing and developing well
- Gain insight into the best way to care for your pet
Taking your pet to the vet on a regular basis — once a year is a usual recommendation — doesn’t just keep your pet healthy and happy. It can also help you save money. If the vet is able to catch an illness early on, they can stop it in its track and save you from having to spend a fortune on treatments. Preventative measures like vaccinations also keep your pet from getting sick in the first place and save you from having to pay for medication for them.
Finding the Right Veterinarian
Clearly, regular vet visits are an important part of pet ownership. The first step to getting your pet to the vet for their first appointment is to make sure you’re working with the right vet. Here are some tips that will help you find the best vet for your pet’s needs:
- Make sure they’re accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (also known as the AAHA)
- Ask for recommendations from friends or family who have a pet like yours
- Consider the vet’s location and try to find one as close to your home as possible (that way, your pet doesn’t have to spend a long time in the car)
- Take a tour of the vet’s office and check to see if it’s clean and well-organized
- Schedule an appointment to get acquainted and establish care with the veterinarian
- Consider the vet’s specialty if you have a unique or exotic pet
Be sure to find out about the clinic’s emergency policy and what they recommend if you need to bring your pet in for treatment after hours. Do they work with a 24-hour clinic, or do they offer emergency care themselves?
What to Expect at the Veterinarian’s Office
The first time you bring your pet to the vet is similar to the first time you see a new doctor. You’ll have to fill out some paperwork and provide basic information about your pet. You’ll also need to verify whether they’ve been vaccinated and which vaccines (if any) they’ve received. In addition to filling out paperwork, the vet (or a veterinary technician) will also perform a basic examination of your pet. During this exam, the vet will consider your pet’s weight and overall size and take a look at their teeth and the health of their coat or skin. They’ll also take a look at their eyes, ears, and genitals. Your vet will also talk to you about your pet’s history and what you can do to make sure they stay healthy long-term. They may also administer vaccinations if necessary.
Preparing Your Pet for the Veterinarian
Getting your pet ready for their first vet appointment can be quite the daunting tasks. In the same way that children generally are not happy to go to the doctor’s office, pet’s usually aren’t too keen on seeing the vet. The following are some tips that can help make the trip to the vet (as well as the time spent at the clinic) a little more pleasant for your pet:
Often, pets are anxious at the vet when they’re not used to being around other people or pets. Give them plenty of opportunities to socialize and get comfortable being handled by other people besides you.
Exercise Them First
In most cases, your pet will be calmer at the vet’s office if they’ve exercised beforehand. Take them for a long walk or play with them before you leave.
If you’re calm, your pet is more likely to be calm. Even if you’re nervous, try not to show it. Talk in a soft voice and let your pet know that everything will be just fine.
Notify the Vet Staff
If your pet is very anxious and has a tendency to become aggressive when they get nervous, notify the vet staff ahead of time. That way, they can be prepared and will do their best to keep your pet as calm as possible during their appointment.
Paying for the Veterinarian
Last, but not least, you probably want to know how much a vet appointment costs.
The cost of an appointment varies from vet to vet. It depends, too, on why you’re seeing the vet.
If you’re just coming in for a regular check-up, you’ll probably pay somewhere around $50. Medications and vaccinations will cost extra, and your vet may add an additional fee if your pet is aggressive or requires a lot of extra attention.
Pet insurance can help to offset the cost of vet visits and services, so it’s a good investment to consider. You can ask your vet for more info. on it or call ahead to ask before your first appointment.
Get More Pet Care Tips Today
Now that you know more about what to expect from your pet’s first veterinarian visit, are you feeling a little calmer about it?
Taking your pet to the vet for the first time can be tricky.
If you keep these tips in mind, though, you’ll have a much easier time finding the right veterinarian and getting through the visit as quickly and painlessly as possible. Do you want to learn more about caring for your pet? If so, be sure to check out the Pets section of our site today.
You’ll find all kinds of helpful information on how to keep your pet healthy and happy all year round.