New Pet? 7 Questions to Ask Your Family Veterinarian

Your new family member may be furry with whiskers and a tail, or have scales, hooves or even wings. If you're the proud new owner of a new pet, chances are you'll have best results integrating your new pet into your family when you include a veterinarian on your team.

"Having a new pet isn't like having a new toy," cautions your veterinarian. "It's just like having a kid. Some people get animals without knowing what they really need. There may be tests and vaccines the animal needs. You have to be sure the pet gets everything it needs, so seek an experienced veterinarian."

Problems can occur early during your pet's integration with your family, including any existing pets. Your veterinarian can help you with this. You will want to discuss foods, overfeeding and underfeeding, activity levels and exercise needs, vaccinations and dental care early in your role as new pet owner.

The earlier these issues are discussed with your vet the greater the likelihood that a pet's specific needs and overall good health will be met. Consider an open conversation with the veterinarian you plan to use as your wellness consultant. Write down your questions and bring them with you to your initial and future visits. Remember to include these important questions during an initial "interview" with your veterinarian:

  1. What experience do you have with pets like mine?
  2. What other types of pets do you care for?
  3. Can you advise me on the best way to care for my pet?
  4. What vaccination schedule do you suggest and why?
  5. What dental and grooming habits do you suggest and why?
  6. What food and nutrition recommendations would you make for my pet? What daily calorie intake and exercise routine does my pet require for optimum health?
  7. Do you provide round-the-clock emergency care and if not, can you recommend someone and provide me with their contact information?

Asking your new veterinarian specific questions like those above will help you focus your visit and achieve specific results during the visit. Having written questions before a visit can help you remember them in order to get the information you need the first time.

If you would like to schedule a check-up with one of our veterinarians, call us today to make an appointment!

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  • "I have been taking my 16 year old lab, Oscar, to this vet since he came to me in 2004, and I wouldn't take any of my dogs anywhere else! They are so wonderful with both pets and people. I would recommend any of the doctors and staff to anyone."
    Erin H
  • "We have been going to another vet for years. We wanted to have our year old Wheaten Terrier, Rylee spayed by laparoscopy so she would have less pain and be back to her usual activity in 2-3 days instead of 10-14 days. Our vet does the traditional spay. We had a consult meet and greet with Dr. Courtney Pierce. She answered all our questions and so friendly and professional. They have a state of the art OR suite. Rylee did great. On post op day three she spotted a squirrel and did an all out chase with no ill effects! All the staff were great."
    Linda A
  • "I love Dr. Jernigan at AHLB and would never take my dog anywhere else! The staff is excellent with animals and always professional, courteous and respectful to owners. I have trusted this animal hospital for all of my dog's care, including check ups, surgeries (she's had three!) and for boarding when we have to go out of town. Every experience I have had here has been wonderful and I highly recommend their services to anyone looking for a veterinary office for their furry children!."
    Avery C