Questions to ask your vet

small animal - veterinarian - nurse - dog

Going to the vet, especially if your pet is unwell, can be a stressful and anxious time. This can sometimes make it difficult to remember everything you want to ask about your pet’s specific problem as well as their general health.

To help with this we’ve compiled a list of questions to ask your vet in a consultation, as well as highlighting some of the types of questions that a vet might ask you.

Questions to ask your vet during your pet’s vaccination

A pet’s vaccination serves as an ideal opportunity for a general health check, so it is a perfect time to ask any extra questions about your pet’s day to day health. It can be a good idea to compile a short list of your questions in advance, and go through them with the vet:

  • When is my pet’s next vaccination due after this?
  • What parasite control should my pet be taking, and how often?
  • What is the healthiest weight for my pet, and how is their weight currently?
  • Depending on the pet’s age and breed, are there any special diets or supplements that my pet could benefit from?

Questions to ask your vet when your pet is sick

Although the situation will vary greatly depending on your pet’s illness, the following questions may help you get a better understanding of your pet’s condition and what to expect:

  • What signs should I look for in my pet which mean I should contact the clinic again? (For example, if your dog has been vomiting, a sign to contact the clinic may be continued vomiting or refusal of food)
  • When should I expect my pet to improve?
  • Do I need to book a revisit for follow up care?
  • How much medication do I need to give and how frequently?
  • Can this illness be contagious to my other pets or people?
  • What are all the treatment options?
  • What are my options for after-hours treatment if my pet’s condition changes?

Especially when your pet is sick it is very important to understand what is happening and be comfortable with your treatment decisions. If you have any doubts or confusion, don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian to explain your pet’s condition again.

Questions your vet may ask you about your pet

Because our pets can’t talk, veterinarians often ask a lot of questions to try and get a picture of their general health or illness. These may include:

  • Is your pet eating and drinking normally, or when did they last eat?
  • Is your pet urinating and defecating normally?
  • Has your pet had any vomiting or diarrhoea? Or sneezing or coughing?
  • When was your pet last behaving normally, or how long have any issues been apparent?
  • Has anything changed recently in your pet’s environment, such as new animals, visitors, application of garden fertilisers, etc?
  • Has your pet had any access to any toxins, such as compost, rat bait, snail bait, chocolate, lilies, etc?
  • Is your pet on any medications, and when was their last dose given?
  • Is your pet up to date with parasite prevention, and what product is used?
  • Is your pet up to date with their vaccinations?

It can be helpful to write a list of questions if you’re worried you will forget something. If you do forget, your local veterinary clinic may be able to answer your questions over the phone or at a revisit consult.