Just a few helpful tips to make you and Fluffy your veterinarian’s favorite clients.
1. Do not tell them that you once wanted to be a veterinarian. We hear this from every single person who walks through the door. Ditto on telling them that your brother’s wife’s cousin’s daughter wants to be a veterinarian. Also, definitely do not tell them that the reason you chose a different occupation was because you love animals too much. Show me a veterinarian who doesn’t love animals in the extreme and then explain to me exactly how loving animals so much kept you from your dream.
2. Do not attempt to hold your own animal in the exam room. Some small animal veterinarians will have signs posted to this effect, but either way it is a liability for the veterinarian to have the client hold Fluffy, especially if Fluffy decides to bite someone. If your hand or your face is in front of Fluffy’s face, this would be especially unfortunate. Also, Fluffy may not be as well behaved when being held by Mommy, as she is when being held by Brunhilda, the trained technician.
3. Do not complain about prices. A good veterinarian will give you multiple options for your pet, gold standard vs. nickel standard. Understand that in some cases the nickel standard will be euthanasia. Veterinarians do not judge your decisions; we understand that not everyone can afford the gold standard for their pets. As long as you choose a humane option for your pet, we will be satisfied. Medicine costs money and we understand that you can only afford what you can afford. In the same vein, don’t prey on our love for animals to try to get us to lower our prices.
4. We want a complete history, but not the entire history. “…and then 6 years ago Fluffy turned in a circle to the left and pooped but usually he always turns in circles to the right and then poops.” No. We do not need to know that.
5. Do not tell us what the Internet diagnosed your dog with. The Internet does not have a veterinary degree to my knowledge, and has also never put hands on your pet. (Although the Internet may have seen many cute pictures of Fluffy in various party hats.)
6. Show up early and expect to wait. You do this for your personal doctor, dentist and surgeon, please extend the same courtesy to your veterinarian.
7. Bring your veterinarian food to show your appreciation. Preferably healthy food if you can manage it. Veterinarians are very busy and tend to skip their lunch breaks (and dinner breaks). We also spend a LOT of time around animals, who are very food motivated, and we may or may not have acquired the same tendencies. Good vet, good boy, who wants a cookie?