Taking an animal to the vet can always be worrying — for yourself as well as your pet. Being properly prepared for the appointment is the key to making sure things go as smoothly as possible.
Find out what your vet wants
The first piece of advice is to be clear what the vet wants from you. You might be expected to bring a stool sample, for example. You should also find out whether or not you can feed your pet before the appointment. Many checks and procedures require that the animal has gone without food for a number of hours; but this may not be necessary, and your pet's particular health problems may make it inadvisable. If you are in any way unsure about what to do, give the surgery a ring and ask.
Prepare your pet's medical history
If your pet has medical records, make sure you have them to hand so you won't have to waste time looking for them when you are ready to leave. You should also make any notes on the animal's recent health and behaviour so you are ready to tell the vet about any problems and answer any questions. You should also prepare any questions you have about your pet's care and about the various checks and procedures that will be carried out.
Make sure your pet is restrained
A cat or a small animal should be transported in a carrier — preferably one they are already used to so that it doesn't seem strange when they have to go in it. It is a good idea to prepare this the night before the appointment. Dogs should be kept on a lead. Bear in mind that if your dog might have an infectious disease such as kennel cough, the vet may want it to wait in the car or somewhere else outside rather than come into the waiting room.
Keep your pet calm
If you are worried about the appointment, your pet may pick up on this. Try to keep your own nerves under control, and reassure your pet in a soft voice. Keep to your usual routines (unless you have to withhold food) and reward your pet with treats and fuss for good behaviour.
A visit to the vet needn't be a stressful experience. As long as you are prepared, it can be relaxed and regular part of your pet's care.