Ugh, the time of year every dog dreads …. The annual yearly checkup. In addition to dogs, I think a lot of humans dread this time of year as well, as it can be quite stressful both emotionally and financially. We’ve come up with a list of 4 things every dog parent should do to prepare for that dreaded annual exam.
1) PUT TOGETHER A LIST. Yes, a list. It sounds old school, but it can really help organize any concerns and/or questions you have for your vet. Use your list to help you remember anything you wish to discuss with your vet. In the past, I know I’ve gone into an exam meaning to bring up various topics and by time I get home, I realize I forgot to ask the vet certain questions. Also, in an ideal world, we’d have hours to spend with our vets asking our questions, however, out of respect to the doctors and the staff, it’s much easier and quicker to streamline the appointment by simply going down your prepared list.
2) HAVE INSURANCE FORMS READY. If you have pet insurance, be sure to download, print and bring any insurance claim forms with you to your appointment. It is much easier for the vet and/or their staff to sign off on your claim forms at the time of the appointment then to go back a week later and have them dig up your file. This will mean a faster claim processed for you and less stress you put on the office staff.
3) BLOODWORK. It is suggested that your dog has yearly bloodwork done. This can help determine any irregularities in your dog’s health. Depending on the age and breed of your dog, sometimes the bloodwork that your vet would like you to get can vary. I like to go 2 days ahead of my yearly exam appointment and have Bruce Wayne’s bloodwork drawn and tested (typically, lab results are sent over to the vet’s office by the next morning). I always go in advance of our appointment with our vet so that our vet has the results of the bloodwork in his hands and we can speak about the results face to face. This way, your not playing phone tag with your vet about lab results over the next few days.
4) TAKE GOODIES. I always take extra toys or treats that Bruce Wayne hasn’t played with or ate yet to our vet’s office for donation. Check with your vet’s office about what programs they work with. You may be surprised to find that your vet works with different programs that you were unaware of. For instance, our vet’s office partners with ‘Pets of the Homeless’ which is a program that provides veterinary care, food and goods to pets of homeless people while they are in transition to finding permanent shelter. Another program our vet’s office works with is ‘Pets for Patriots’ which partners military veterans with shelter dogs or cats. It’s a great way of cleaning out your goodie closet while helping some wonderful animals in need.
We hope that our 4 ideas help to make your dog or cat’s yearly annual check up a bit smoother. It will always be stressful, but together we can help make each other’s experience better each time. 🙂 If you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below. We are always open to new suggestions!