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Prepare Your Pet for a First Veterinary Visit

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Casey was having a good time - after what seemed like just another car ride, she was taken for a walk on a leash, and then the beagle was brought inside a veterinary hospital. She'd visited here before, just for fun and to meet the staff, and she remembered that she could count on a few treats.

According to the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), there are many steps owners can take to make a first veterinary visit a positive experience. Since your pet will be in for regular wellness exams with your veterinarian, it's important to make those visits pleasant.

Start by regularly handling pets when they are young ¿ including looking into their ears, rubbing their toes and brushing their hair and teeth. Making these activities habitual helps animals become comfortable with ear and teeth exams and other routine procedures such as nail clippings.

Before you take your pet to a first veterinary visit, get him or her used to traveling in a car. Cats should be in carriers and dogs on leashes when arriving at the veterinarian's office. Kittens can get accustomed to a cat carrier by introducing that at home with a comfy towel or blanket, along with toys. Dogs should become used to being on a leash before that first veterinary visit.

"Animals will pick up on the owner's emotions," noted William Grant, II, DVM, president of the CVMA. "If the owner is relaxed and prepared for the visit, the pet will often follow suit."

The CVMA suggests writing down questions and bringing them to the veterinarian.

Questions you would like answered could include:

  • Should my pet have a special diet?
  • When should she be vaccinated?
  • Is any special care needed for this breed or type of animal?

"Providing your veterinarian with complete information is very important and can make a difference in both diagnosis and treatment," added Grant. "Also, don't be afraid to ask questions to get the information you need to care for your pet."

The California Veterinary Medical Association is the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, with more than 6,000 members. For more information, visit

SOURCE The California Veterinary Medical Association
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