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Top 10 Things NOT to Do at the Veterinarian’s Office

10-things-not-to-do-vet-officeTrips to the veterinarian’s office can be stressful and expensive, but there are many ways owners can make the experience as positive as possible. Here is a list of the Top 10 things that owners should avoid doing when at the vet’s office:

  1. Arrive unannounced: Always call for an appointment or at the very least let the clinic know you are headed their way with an emergency.  Without an appointment, you may be forced to leave your pet as a “drop-off,” wait until the next available time slot, or be turned away if your pet’s condition is not serious.
  2. Be rude to the support staff:  Delays or chaos in the waiting room are almost never the receptionist’s or the technician’s fault.  Remember that these people are on you and your pet’s side.
  3. Be rude to the doctor: Your veterinarian is looking out for your pet’s best interest- so make sure the dialog is open and friendly so you get as much information as possible during your visit.
  4. Bring your dogs and cats in without leashes or carriers:  Waiting rooms can be crowded, so make sure you keep your pets under control and safe.  Six foot nylon leashes rather than the retractable type are best.
  5. Bring up too many unrelated health problems at one time:  Do not wait until your dog or cat has an ear infection, bad teeth, itchy skin and diarrhea before scheduling an appointment and don’t expect everything to be fully addressed in a 15-20 minute appointment.
  6. Wait until just before closing time to bring in a pet with serious issues:  The staff of the clinic is only human and has probably wants to get home to their families.   This applies particularly to problems that have been going on for a while or that could wait until morning.  If you are dealing with an emergency, however, the veterinarians and technicians will understand.
  7. Answer your cell phone while talking to the doctor or staff:  Your veterinarian is (or should be) giving you his or her undivided attention during your appointment time- so it’s best to return the favor.  Again, emergencies do happen on both sides of the table, just be sure to explain what is going on (e.g., “my kid’s daycare is calling, I have to take this”).
  8. Bring in all of your animals at the same time:  Exam rooms can be crowded under the best of circumstances.  As tempting as it can be to get all the veterinary care dealt with at one time, try to keep confusion to a minimum by bringing in only one or two pets per visit
  9. Fail to mention any medications or supplements that you may be giving your dog or cat:  Drug interactions can be very serious, so your vet needs to know exactly what your pet is taking before safely prescribing anything new.
  10. Bring the whole family:  Sometimes this is unavoidable, but having to focus on the needs of adults, kids, and pets at the same time is a nearly impossible task for a veterinarian.  Unless you are dealing with an extremely simple issue (e.g., your dog needs a rabies vaccine only) or it is a time when everyone wants to be present (e.g., euthanasia), only the decision-makers and possibly one person there for support should come to the clinic.
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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jayne June 27, 2011, 2:47 pm

    I agree with your top 10 here, however, I think it should apply to the doctors, also.

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