Getting The Most From Your Appointment

You might think that just walking in the door with your pet is all you need to do, but here are some suggestions for you to get the most out of your appointment:

  • write down any questions or concerns you have, and bring the list with you! It’s easy to forget what you meant to ask the vet or staff about, so why not bring a list (on paper or even on your smart phone)?
  • short videos on your phone or camcorder can help a lot! If your pet is doing something you have questions about, filming the pet doing it at home can help us a lot. Pets often won’t perform whatever behavior or symptom you are wondering about when they are in the hospital – the change in environment and excitement can affect them so they temporarily stop limping, coughing, or doing whatever you were worried about. You can even email us your video if it is short!
  • remember to bring any requested samples with you!
    • Stool samples should be unfrozen and no more than 12 hours old (for dogs, use a Ziploc baggie or one of the poop bags you take on your walks. For cats, make sure it’s stool and not urine if you use clumping litter!).
    • Urine samples should ideally be the first of the morning sample, collect it in a pie tin, soup ladle, measuring cup, etc. and transfer to a provided urine cup, or a Ziploc baggie or other clean, watertight container. If it will be more than an hour or so before your appointment, the sample should be refrigerated but not frozen (or you can drop it off here in the morning before your appointment).
  • bring a HUNGRY pet!
    • Hungry pets will be much more interested in treats and food rewards while they are here, which in turn will help make the experience less stressful and more enjoyable for your pet (and you!).
    • Unless your pet is a diabetic or otherwise cannot miss a meal, we suggest you skip the meal immediately before your appointment (unless it will be 6 hours or more between the meal and the appointment).
    • We use low-stress handling methods at Amherst Small Animal Hospital, and food is one of the most effective and simple ways to help pets understand what we need them to do, and have fun doing it!
    • If your pet has allergies or special dietary needs, please bring some appropriate treats from home, otherwise we have awesome yummies here for them!
  • bring a written list of any medications or supplements that you give your pet, including how you are giving them (how much, how frequently, etc.), or just throw all the medications and supplements in a shopping bag and bring them with you!
  • know what kind of food your pet is eating (brand and specific type) and how much (if you don’t use an actual measuring cup or spoon, please bring whatever it is you use to measure your pet’s food). This will help us make recommendations about feeding your pet!
  • Click here for some help Getting Your Cat to the Vet