Winning Wellness Visits
Posted on Mar 19, 2019 in Blog
Winning Wellness Visits
Rebecca Aiello, DVM
We’ve all gotten that reminder in the mail that our pet is due for their vaccines, and begrudgingly call to squeeze in a vet visit for shots in the middle of our already busy schedules. But while we may focus on getting Max “up to date” on those overdue shots, the examination and conversation with your pet’s doctor is really what is most important. Here are some tips for getting the most out of veterinary visits.
- Come Prepared
- Be Present
- Bring Questions!
- Build a Relationship
- The elephant in the room – how much is that going to cost?
Before your veterinarian greets you or your pet, a nurse will often come into the exam room to ask several questions. It is easy to forget the exact brand and variety of cat food you bought 3 weeks ago, the specific contents of the new arthritis supplement you’ve been trying out for your senior dog, or even the last time you actually watched your pet’s bowel movement.
Prior to your scheduled visit, write down, snap a photo, or even bring in any food, treats, medications, preventatives, or supplements your pet is currently receiving. This way, your veterinarian can give you specific recommendations based on the products you already have at home.
Nobody knows your pet better than you, right? Our furry, feathered, or scaled companions cannot speak for themselves. It is important for you to be your pet’s voice, and explain to your veterinarian how they are outside of the office. Your neighbor, roommate, or daughter home from college break is not going to do a better job than you. Preventative care appointments are rarely urgent, so if you can’t make it, call up the office to reschedule.
Once you’re here, there’s no need to rush. We schedule 30-45 minute appointments, so that the doctor can answer questions and review recommendations with you.
Also consider bringing one pet at a time. This way, you can focus on recommendations for one pet, rather than trying to remember things for two, three, or even four of your companions.
Again, we schedule extended appointments so that you have time to ask the veterinarian your questions. Make the most of it! If your pet is healthy, this may be the time to ask for recommendations for training classes, groomers, or pet sitters. We can also recommend specific toy brands for your tough chewer, or enrichment activities for your lazy kitty. Need to know how often to trim nails or clean ears? We have those answers too!
Write a list of questions down before your appointment, so you don’t forget them “in the moment.”
With so many negative stories on social media and in the news, it’s hard to know who you can trust to look out for your pets. Finding a veterinarian, or veterinary practice, whose opinion you value is an important part of getting your pet the medical care they need. When we know your pet and their history, it is easier for us to spot changes and recognize trends over time. We will also learn their examination preferences and what treats are their favorite!
It is no secret that veterinary care has become more expensive over the years. Medical advancements, better preventative care, and higher expectations for quality care come with a price tag. As veterinarians, we are obligated to offer the best recommendations for your individual pet. Based on your budget, we can prioritize treatments, plan future preventative care, or offer outside payment plan options such as CareCredit and ScratchPay.
Please do not hesitate to ask for an estimated cost of services! We want our clients to leave the office confident that their pet received exceptional care, not questioning an unexpected bill.
We hope that this information can help you to make the most of your upcoming wellness appointment! We recommend annual visits for all of our adult pets, and semi-annual visits for our seniors.
For more information about wellness visits, and what your veterinarian is doing when they examine your pet, check out this website: https://www.partnersforhealthypets.org/healthypetcheckup