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Visiting Your Veterinarian

Visiting Your Veterinarian

Picking a Veterinarian

Selecting a veterinarian for your Chihuahua is a lot like picking a doctor for yourself. 

You need to find one who shares the same ideas on pet health that you do and who is open to answering all you questions.   

Talk to family and friends and any other pet owners you know to get their recommendations on veterinarians.  Speaking with other Chihuahua owners can be very helpful.  Chis can be little handfuls at times and it is good to find a vet who is skilled at handling small dogs with big attitudes.

The other factor that you may have to consider is cost.  Veterinarians usually follow pricing guidelines set out by their medical association but are free to set their own fees.  Phone several vet hospitals in your area and ask for costs.  Common fees will include exam fees, vaccinations, and spays and neuters.  Use that phone call to gauge the staff’s friendliness and willingness to help as well as get cost information.

Your First Visit

Once you’ve selected a veterinarian, try to visit the hospital several days before your scheduled appointment.  Don’t expect that you will be able to talk to the vet – their time is money and you don’t usually get to have a meet and greet time unless you schedule and pay a standard consultation fee.  However, visit the front desk staff and introduce yourself and your pet.

This first short visit allows you to meet the staff in person and see how they respond to your pet.  Most people working at a vet hospital adore animals, and it is especially difficult to resist the little ones.  Let the staff meet your Chihuahua and let your little one familiarize themselves briefly with the sights and sounds of the place.

Often staff will offer treats in an effort to make your Chi more comfortable.  If they don’t, ask them to.  With so many pet allergies some hospitals don’t offer food unless authorized by the owner.  Having the staff treat your pet helps to build a happy, trusting relationship.  Having a happy first encounter will show your Chi that there is nothing to fear at the vet’s.

The First Appointment

The most important thing to remember about your first veterinary appointment with your Chihuahua is that he or she will take their cue from you.  If you are tense and worried about how the visit will turn out, your Chi will pick up on that.  Chihuahuas are very sensitive and any change in their owner’s demeanour is easily noticed.

Enter the appointment calmly and stay that way!  When the vet is doing their physical exam, try to stay cool and confident.  You may not like the fact that the vet is putting a thermometer up your dog’s rear end but your Chi is far less likely to care about it if you don’t make a fuss.  The same goes for injections.  Many owners hate the sight of needles for themselves so watching their little girl or boy being poked is a difficult thing.  If you can’t stay calm during the procedure then ask the vet to take your pet to another room or ask to leave the exam room yourself.  The vet will gladly have a staff member hold your Chi for the injections to prevent you and your pet from getting upset.

Even though this first appointment can be overwhelming for some owners, try to remember some of the questions you wanted to ask.  Make a list ahead of time and take it with you.  Veterinarians can offer valuable advice on everything from Chihuahua collars to Chihuahua training tips.  If you have a long haired Chihuahua, they can offer grooming tips or recommend groomers they know and trust.

Follow Ups

Ask the vet if any further appointments are needed for additional injections or follow up examinations.  If so, book the appointment, pay the fees and leave.  Keep things very calm and friendly.  By not making a fuss your Chi will learn from you that the vet’s office is nothing to worry about.  Setting this attitude early is important for every future visit and for the emotional health of your Chihuahua.

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