Keep your dog close in the waiting room. Even though Fido wouldn't hurt a fly, other people in the waiting room don't know that and neither do their pets. Letting your kids wander is bad etiquette, and the same goes for your fur children. Keep in mind that other animals in the waiting room might be sick or in pain, so they won't tolerate your canine. Or they might be too young for vaccinations, and close contact might expose them to whatever contagious condition your dog might have. It is best to keep your dog on a leash or in a carrier until he is in the exam room.
Tell your vet the truth. Don't be embarrassed that you didn't brush your dog's teeth or that you feed him table food. If you left a poisonous plant within your dog's reach and he ate some leaves, or you forgot his medication this week, just fess up. The vet is really there to help your pet— not to judge you. Withholding facts so that YOU feel better can be dangerous for Rover. And don't withhold details about your pet's problem. Describe your dog's symptoms as best as you can so the vet can determine if he or she is contagious.
Regular check-ups are essential. Just like with people, annual exams provide vital information about your dog's health. When your vet sees your pet regularly, he or she is more likely to catch any potential health issues, which can also mean a better chance of recovery. Then, when you bring your dog in because he seems lethargic, isn't eating, or seems to be in pain, your vet will have a better idea of what is "normal" for your canine and can better determine if the unusual behavior or symptom means your dog is critically ill or or just a temporary situation.
Don't give your pet people medication. Don't play doctor when it comes to your pet's medications. Some everyday pills like Ibuprofen can be life-threatening to furry family members. And, if your dog is already taking a medication prescribed by your vet, if you give him something else, drug interactions can be fatal.