Preparing for Your First Trip to the Vet

A trip to the vet doesn’t have to be unpleasant for you or your pet. In fact, it can be an exciting time for both you and your pet to spend some time together. Make it a great experience the first time and your pet won’t mind going back again for regular checkups or emergency visits.

Filling out Paperwork

When going to any medical facility there is usually paperwork to fill out before you can be seen, especially if it’s your first visit. However, now that the internet is available to us, we may be able to knock some of the red tape out ahead of time by filling out paperwork online. This can be very helpful since you want to devote your time at the vet, to keeping your pet happy and relaxed rather than having to shush them while trying to fill out the papers. Therefore, be sure and ask the receptionist when making your appointment and get that part out of the way first.

If they don’t allow you to fill out the paperwork online, you can still make it easier on yourself by having all the information available to answer any questions, which may include:

  • How old is your pet? (Birthdate)
  • When did your pet last have his/her shots?
  • Does your pet have any medical conditions? If so, what?
  • When was your pet last seen by a veterinarian?
  • Is your pet taking any medications? If so, what?
  • Does your pet have any allergies? If so, what?

Gathering Together Things to Take to Your Visit

Getting things ready at least a day before your visit will reduce the need to have to rush the day of your appointment. Keep in mind that your pet can sense when you are nervous and excited, and therefore, will also feel the same when you want him/her to be as relaxed as possible.

Start by getting your pets’ carrier out and making sure it is clean and ready for use. Ensure there is enough padding or bedding inside and room for your pet to be comfortable. You may want to throw in a small blanket not just for the cold, but for comfort as well. It is also a good idea to put your pet in the carrier for a while prior to their visit to allow them to get used to it before having to spend a lot of time in it during their visit to the vet.

Pack a bag to take along with you that consists of the following:

Some of your pets’ favorite treats cut up in bite sizes, sealed in a baggie so that you can reward him/her a little at a time during your vet visit

  • a few of your pets’ favorite toys
  • a small blanket (as mentioned)
  • a small bowl that you can give your pet water in as they may get thirsty as well as a small bottle of water so you won’t have to ask for it while there
  • a list of all your pets’ medications (if any) and any other information you may need.

In addition, if your pet may bite, you might want to consider bringing a muzzle along and you can help your pet to relax by spraying their bedding or blanket with some lavender calming pheromones as lavender is known to have calming effects on some animals. Be sure to let it dry for at least 10 minutes after spraying.

The Day of Your Visit

You should have everything prepared by the day of your visit; items you plan on taking along should be packed neatly in your bag, the carrier should be clean, equipped with comfortable bedding and a small blanket, and ready to go, and your paperwork should be completed and submitted (if possible).

Give your pet some water, but refrain from feeding him/her anything until after seeing the vet so he/she won’t have to go to the bathroom or have an upset stomach during the visit and will be hungry enough to really appreciate his/her treats while there making them want to be very obedient. Before putting your pet in his/her cage, take him out and allow him/her to relieve themselves. Leave early, so you will have plenty of time to get there and not have to rush.

Once you arrive and have checked in, while waiting to be called, if possible, put the carrier on your lap with your pet inside and put your hand through an opening and pet him/her continuously, this will comfort them. If you are unable to put the carrier on your lap, then just petting your pet will help them relax.

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  1. Thanks for your advice on what things to bring to a veterinarian for my pet’s first visit. I would never have thought of bringing a small bowl so that he can drink in the waiting room while awaiting our turn. I’ll be sure to bring along the things you said so that my pet doesn’t panic or freak out while we’re there. He’s my first dog ever so I’m kind of anxious as well. I hope it all goes well.

  2. I greatly appreciate your tips on how to prepare a pet’s carrier box to make it comfortable for their first vet visit. My cat is a very particular one as no matter how hard I try to get him to sit in any other place in the house, he always returns to this one box we used to carry him around in when we bought him for the first time. With how much he likes that thing, it would definitely make him cooperate better if we prepared it all nice and cozy before we visit any pet services or vets in the area for a checkup.

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