Our "every time" pet owner questions

August 30, 2016
Sally Mullen

Our visits are action-packed, and our clients are time-strapped. But at our veterinary hospital, DVMs and technicians make sure we don't miss some crucial questions about home life and history for our patients.

In our general practice, we spend a lot of our energy on providing educating clients on how to spot problems before they become a significant issue. However, as most veterinary staff members know, time in the exam room is one of our most precious commodities.

So we created several standardized species-specific questions we tie to all examinations at every appointment. Here are a few we've included:

Cats: House soiling

> Does your cat consistently use the litterbox?

> How many litter boxes do they have access to?

> What type of litter do you use?

> Where are the boxes located?

> How often are they cleaned?

Dogs: Our golden exercise and parasite question

> How much time do you estimate your pet spends out doors?

Exotics: Home life

> Describe the housing enclosure your pet lives in

> Does your pet have time outside the enclosure?

> How much of the time, in and out of the enclosure, are they supervised?

General: Preventives, drugs and the household

> Is your pet on heartworm and flea/tick preventives? When did they last receive a dose?

> Is your pet currently receiving any medications? Any supplements?

> Do you have other pets at home? Does your pet come into contact with them?

Editor's note: Do you have any every-exam, every-time question you ask clients that you think other practitioners might forget? Sign in and share it with us below!

Sally Mullen is practice manager at Calvert Veterinary Center in Pasadena, Maryland.