Communicate Effectively with your Vet

Whether you are the loving owner of a dog, cat, ferret, reptile, or any other companion animal, routine visits to the vet are an essential part of life. Just like the humans’ family doctor, the vet is part of your family’s wellness team.

Here are some tips for effectively communicating with your vet and ultimately having an open, beneficial professional relationship with them.

  • Choose a vet who is located close handy to your home.
  • Choose a vet you trust and have a great “gut-feeling” about. It’s fine to “shop around” until you find the right fit. You need to be able to converse honestly and openly. A great vet is one who is not only clinically competent, but one who also has good interpersonal skills with pet parents, and who is obviously an animal lover themself.
  • If you notice any changes to your pet’s normal behaviour, contact your vet for advice. Don’t wait for days or longer to get help.
  • Unless it is an emergency situation, call ahead to make an appointment to see the vet.
  • Make lists of specifics before you go to the vet – including questions, concerns, and things that you wish to have addressed. No issue is too small, and no legitimate question is silly.
  • Write down instructions from the vet so that you remember exactly what was said later. It can be stressful taking a sick or injured pet to the vet, and it’s easy to mishear or forget.
  • If you are running late or are unable to make a scheduled appointment, call ahead out of courtesy.
  • Comply with your vet’s instructions and recommendations. This will not be a problem if you find a vet you trust and in whose abilities you have faith.
  • Don’t adjust or stop medications and other treatments without consulting with your vet. Comply with dietary requirements and exercise requirements or restrictions.
  • If you have financial concerns about your pet’s treatment, be upfront and discuss these promptly. A good vet should be able to estimate most costs up front. Do not run up bills then refuse to pay.
  • It is not rude or disloyal to seek a second opinion. A professional vet will be willing to share your pet’s medical record with another vet and will provide a referral if you ask for it.
  • If you aren’t satisfied with any aspect of you veterinarian’s care, address this. If necessary, find a new vet to provide your pet with medical care. It’s a relationship that will last the lifetime of your pet, so make sure it works for you.

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Vic 3013, Australia

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Vic 3220, Australia

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