Myths Debunked: Pet Parents’ Complaints about Veterinarian Offices

Pet owners want the very best for their four-legged friends. That means taking pets to the veterinarian for preventive care or to treat illnesses or injuries.  A trip to the doctor’s office, for people and for pets, is generally not anyone’s favorite activity. Sometimes, the experience can include protocols or procedures that may not always seem to make sense, and that can be frustrating or even painful.

Below are answers to some common complaints about going to the veterinarian.

Why do veterinarians perform so many diagnostic tests?
Because pets can’t talk, they are unable to tell us how they are feeling or exactly where it hurts. Without these verbal cues, veterinarians rely on physical exam results to help narrow down the cause of a pet’s illness.

Many diseases have shared symptoms, and exam results don’t always tell the whole story. In these cases, diagnostic tests are used to help rule in or rule out certain diseases.

This line of deductive reasoning approach is important because signs of one disease can be similar to another. Treatment without knowing the underlying cause is a guessing game—sometimes it won’t work and it can even make some problems worse.

Why do veterinary services cost so much?
Veterinary costs for dogs, cats, and other pets are based on expenses such as the veterinary staff’s time and the cost of laboratory tests and treatments used. One thing that can help with overall costs is to make sure that your pet is up to date on preventive care.

Doing this can help keep your pet healthy by preventing disease or detecting disease early on. Proactive prevention can be less expensive over a pet’s lifetime, as opposed to reactive treatment for health issues that might arise.

Banfield’s Optimum Wellness Plans®, for example, include routinely recommended vaccinations and diagnostic testing, and are designed to spread the cost of your pet’s preventive care over the course of a year while providing a discount on nearly all other services.

Why does my pet need to be seen by a veterinary professional to refill medications?
Dispensing medications or writing a prescription requires a valid client-pet-doctor relationship. This means that your pet has to be examined by a veterinarian within a certain period of time for a prescription to be filled.

In addition, many medications require routine monitoring to make sure that the dose is right, that the medication is working correctly and that it is not harming your pet.

Why is the wait so long?
This can be due to a few different causes. If a pet is brought in for an emergency situation, that pet will be seen first regardless of whether an appointment was scheduled. Many emergencies require a lot of doctor and staff time to ensure the pet is stable. Another cause of long wait time can be the time of day that is chosen for the appointment. Early morning and late evening can be very busy times at the veterinary hospital.

One solution that we offer is the ability to request an appointment online using previously stored information from your My Banfield account. This way, you can choose a less busy time to avoid the wait, or drop your pet off to fit your busy schedule.

Need more info?

If you want more information about services or procedures, or have specific questions about your pet’s care, talk with your local Banfield veterinarian.  For questions about our hospital services and other Banfield offerings, please visit  our FAQ Page.