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Published: Jan 21, 2013

Every dog owner should bring his or her pet to the vet at least once or twice a year for regular checkups, and they should also pay a visit to one of the local vet clinics if the animal is experiencing a medical issue. Before you pack up and head to the animal hospital, however, make sure you have everything you need to prepare - otherwise you could show up only to find that you have to return home to get additional information for your vet. Here are some tips when you're getting ready to bring your canine companion into a pet health center.

Making an appointment
Sometimes, you may not have much advance warning that your pet needs medical attention. Even during an unexpected pet emergency, it's important to call the animal hospital while you're en route to let them know you're coming in with an urgent issue. If you're bringing your pet in for a less urgent reason, then you should try to schedule your appointment well in advance. Many vet hospitals book up just as quickly as doctor's offices, so it's wise to schedule your checkup appointments all at once if you are able.

Your vet visit checklist
Before you head into the clinic, run through this checklist to make sure you have everything you'll need. For extra convenience, put all of these items in one spot in your home so you can grab them quickly if you have to get to the vet in a hurry.

  • Any pertinent medical records for your pet
  • Pet insurance information
  • A crate for your animal
  • Any medications that you are concerned about or may factor into your vet visit
  • A toy or soothing item for your pet
  • A form of payment to cover the vet bills

En route to the clinic
While you're on your way to the vet hospital, you'll need to keep a close eye on your pet, especially if he is experiencing pain in dogs or another emergency medical issue. If possible, bring a friend or family member who can focus on the animal while you drive the car. If you don't own a vehicle and you need to get to a vet clinic in a hurry, you should consider calling a cab or asking a friend or loved one to drive you. In emergency situations, time is of the essence, so always focus on getting your pet the help he needs as quickly as possible.