How To Communicate With Your Vet More Effectively
A visit to the vet can be a daunting experience, particularly if you are expecting bad news. Many people walk away from their vet appointments none the wiser and still fraught with worry about their pets, but it really doesn’t have to be this way. With a little preparation and a greater understanding of what is happening on the other side of the vet’s table, you will find it much easier to communicate with your vet about anything. Remember that they are just people, and a veterinary appointment is just a conversation. No one is lecturing you, and they only want what is best for your pet. Since your pet can't speak, it's up to you to be their voice and get the treatment they need.
Make the right kind of appointment
If you have a million and one questions about your pet’s health, don’t try to rattle them off during your pet’s booster vaccination appointment. If you let the receptionist know that you have a few things you need to talk about, they will be able to book you a longer appointment rather than trying to squeeze everything into a checkup, or booking a follow-up.
Ask questions if you aren’t sure
No one thinks you are stupid for asking questions, and no one will think you’re being a know-it-all if your veterinary knowledge is more advanced and you ask for more in-depth information. If the vet is using language you don’t understand, ask them to slow down or explain it in a different way. They should be experienced in speaking to you at a level you understand. Likewise, if you want more information about the specifics, don’t be afraid to ask for more resources or leaflets.
Don’t worry about your pet’s behaviour
Many people completely fail to listen to the vet because they are too concerned about controlling their pet’s behaviour. Vets will have seen everything before, so unless your pet is acting aggressively, there really isn’t anything to worry about. All pets will want to explore their new surroundings, so let them have a look around while you give the vet your full attention.
Make a list if required
It’s easy to forget questions you wanted to ask if you go into the appointment unprepared. Make a list if required and write down all the things you wanted to ask. This can help if you have questions that you think might be silly and might be tempted to not ask. You should also make a list if you are worried about forgetting the vet's instructions.
Being honest with your vet is the best possible way to get your pet the help they need. If a symptom started two weeks ago, don’t say that you only just noticed it. It can be tempting to lie, particularly if we are worried about the vet thinking we are irresponsible, but being honest is essential to making sure you give your pet the voice they need. If your pet isn’t microchipped, don’t be embarrassed to get one fitted later in its life. And if you missed the last round of vaccinations, it isn't the end of the world.