Cat and dog being held by doctor at vet appointment.

Preparing Your Pet for An In-Depth Vet Appointment: Dos and Don’ts

Preparing your pet for an in-depth veterinary appointment can be a daunting task. It’s difficult to know what you should and shouldn’t do, but it’s critical to be well prepared before the event to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety. These dos and don’ts will help both you and your pet get ready for medical procedures, surgeries, and other major veterinary events.

Dos: Things You Should Do Before an In-Depth Vet Appointment

Follow these steps to make sure your pet is ready for their in-depth vet appointment:

✅ Find out if your pet needs additional tests before the procedure

Before a major veterinary procedure, your vet may want to perform some tests on your pet to get a better picture of their overall health. These may include a urinalysis, blood work, X-rays, or other diagnostics. Always ask your veterinarian whether your pet needs any additional tests so you can fully prepare for the event.

✅ Let your vet know if your pet is taking any medications or supplements

Some medications and supplements can interact with anesthesia or other treatments, so it’s vital to ensure that your vet knows exactly what your pet is taking. Inform your veterinarian well in advance of the appointment and follow their instructions for discontinuing supplements and medications before the event.

✅ Withhold food and water on the day of the procedure

If your pet will be placed under anesthesia, it’s extremely important to withhold food and water on the day of the appointment. This will help reduce the risk of your pet choking or vomiting during the procedure. Generally, your vet will ask you to withhold food and water 12 – 24 hours before the appointment, but always follow your veterinarian’s specific instructions closely.

✅ Bathe and groom your pet ahead of time

Bathe and groom your pet a day or two before the procedure to make sure their fur is clean and free of debris. Often, your vet will need to shave your pet’s fur before surgeries or other procedures to ensure they have access to the skin. Clean and well-groomed fur will make the shaving process much easier and less painful for your furry friend. Bathing your pet will also reduce bacteria and help minimize the risk of infection.

✅ Prepare your home for your pet’s return

After a major veterinary event, your pet will need time to recover and adjust back into their normal routine. During this time, limit access to other animals and noisy environments so your pet can get the rest they need. Make sure to wash your pet’s bedding and prepare a clean and comfortable resting place before you bring them home. It’s also important to ensure that they have easy access to their food and water, as well as a place to go to the bathroom, while they recover.

Don’ts: Things to Avoid Before Major Veterinary Events

Avoid making these common mistakes to ensure a smooth experience for you and your pet:

❌ Book the procedure without understanding the cost and billing process

Major veterinary events can be expensive, so make sure you fully understand the cost and billing process before booking your pet’s appointment. Don’t wait until after the procedure has been completed to ask about costs – get all the information upfront to avoid unpleasant surprises. If you have pet insurance, always check with your provider before scheduling an appointment to see if they cover the procedure.

❌ Fail to ask questions about the procedure

Understanding what to expect is essential for both you and your pet. Make sure you ask your veterinarian plenty of questions about the procedure, from what will happen during the appointment to how long it will take your pet to recover afterward. This information will help you be better prepared for what’s ahead, so your pet has the best chance of a smooth and safe procedure and a speedy recovery.

❌ Forget to make sure your vet has your contact information

In the event of an emergency, it’s crucial for your vet to have up-to-date contact information for you. Make sure to provide your veterinarian with your phone number so they can reach you if needed. It’s also vital to ensure that you’re available to answer calls and come to the hospital at short notice on the day of your pet’s appointment.

❌ Bring your pet to the appointment without a carrier

Even if your pet is well-behaved and generally calm, it’s a good idea to bring them in their carrier for major veterinary events. Even the most docile pets can become nervous or anxious around other animals and unfamiliar people, so avoid any safety risks by bringing a secure carrier along.

❌ Over-exercise your pet before the appointment

Over-exercising your pet before a major veterinary event can increase the risk of complications. Limit exercise in the days leading up to the appointment and avoid rough play or activities that may cause injury. A well-rested pet is less likely to experience problems during and after the procedure.

Final Thoughts

Preparing your pet for a major vet visit can be stressful, but following these tips will help ensure a smooth experience for everyone involved. By preparing ahead of time and avoiding common mistakes, you and your furry friend can focus on getting through the procedure safely and recovering quickly.