Prep Your Pet For Blood Work

While veterinarians and their technicians are fully trained in drawing blood as safely and quickly from your pet as possible, sometimes you need to do a little work with your pet ahead of time to make the results accurate. Check out this list of ways to prep your pet for bloodwork!

Things you can do to prepare your pet for a routine visit to the veterinarian include:

  • Fasting: Avoid feeding your pet for at least 6 hours prior to the appointment.  Fat droplets, called lipemia, appear in the blood stream after eating and makes the results difficult to interpret.
  • Quiet time: For at least 1 hour before your appointment, avoid exercise with your pet.  Physical activity can change levels of different chemicals in the blood, rendering the blood test inaccurate.
  • Hydration: Make sure your pet is fully hydrated since even mild dehydration can alter test results.
  • Reduce stress: If your pet is easily scared or anxious, it can affect the results of the blood test.  Keep your pet calm by talking quietly and restrained with either a leash or a carrier.  If your pet is easily stressed out, you can ask your veterinarian to schedule the blood test during a more quiet time for the hospital, so that fewer animals will be in the waiting room to get your pet riled up.
  • Note any special instructions that your veterinarian gives you: For some blood tests, your doctor may recommend 12 hours fasting, a medication to be given at a certain time, etc.  Be sure to take note and act on all of these special instructions.

Afterwards, make sure that your pet eats his normally scheduled meals and has plenty of water available.  The whole blood drawing process should only take a few minutes, so your pet should be on her merry way before you know it!

Does your pet have regular bloodwork done?  Let us know int he comments below!