A visit to the veterinarian can be stressful for pets. Unfamiliar smells and sounds, unfamiliar hands poking and prodding you with strange objects, and other animals possibly experiencing pain or fear surrounding you—all tend to make pets feel uncomfortable or fearful....more
Our pets can’t tell their own stories, and many pets hide their pain. It’s our job to observe changes in their behavior and describe it to our veterinarian. Each veterinary visit should start with us telling our pet’s history. Dr. Wendy Hauser, veterinarian and member of the AAHA Board of Directors, advises, “Clients should never shy away if they have a concern and want to call their vet, even if it seems inconsequential.”...more
Children are often curious, and sometimes anxious or fearful, about what happens when their pets visit the veterinarian. If done well, demystifying the veterinary visit can be healthy for a child’s development, possibly even introducing her to career possibilities in the veterinary field. The successful experience can also awaken and inspire a child to become aware of her own health care, as well as increase her empathy, compassion, and sense of responsibility to do right by her pets. After all, when kids discover pets, they discover themselves. ...more
It used to be common to choose a veterinarian based on location, price, and perhaps a friend’s recommendation. But a new way to select a veterinarian is emerging.

This new method starts with pet owners asking questions of themselves. Dr. Kate Knutson, president of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), advises, “As pet owners, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What are my pet’s needs? What are my needs? What are my health care goals?’”

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