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Veterinarian offices are backlogged for a number of reasons

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Posted at 9:31 AM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 11:39:36-04

As more places start opening up, veterinarians are seeing more pet owners book appointments.

The demand is so big that it may be difficult to get an appointment at a time that works for you or there are just fewer time slots available. This is due to a number of reasons.

“People really appreciate that pets are part of their lives, so they want to seek treatment for their pets for whatever illnesses are going on. People have more availability. They're at home, so they recognize that their pets are sick when they may not have done that before,” said Dr. Jimmy Barr, Chief Medical Officer at BluePearl Pet Hospital.

More people are also adopting pets during the pandemic. According to the American Pet Products Association, more than 12 million families adopted a pet during the pandemic. But some of those pets haven't been able to be seen by a vet in the past year and a half. So, people are finally squeezing in those routine checkups.

More pet owners are also seeking emergency services. Veterinarians say availability is different in those cases.

“The key point there is that if a patient needs to see a specialist, and that pet is sick, we're going to make that happen. And most veterinarians would do that as well,” said Barr.

Pets that are dealing with health issues, but are stable, will likely be asked to wait about a week before they can be seen.

Telehealth visits are also becoming a popular option for pet appointments.

Regardless of why your pet needs to be seen, veterinarians say it's important to book that appointment as soon as possible and to be patient.