Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a new client; are there any forms I can fill out ahead of time?

Yes!  You can fill out our New Client Form and bring it with you to your appointment, or email it to us ahead of time.

My pet is having surgery tomorrow, what do I do?

If your pet is coming to us for a sedated/anesthetic procedure, there’s just a couple things to remember. First, make sure you don’t give breakfast or any other food after midnight the night before surgery. Water is always allowed. The second thing is it’s important to have your pet here between 8:30 and 9:00 am. Pick-up is between 3:30 and 4:30 pm same day; no overnight stays required!

At what age can my pet be spayed or neutered?

Dr. Johner recommends waiting until a patient is at least 6 months old before spaying or neutering.

What about Heartworm?

Heartworm is on the rise in Whatcom County, even among pets who have never left our area.  Since heartworm is transmitted through mosquitos and can be fatal if left untreated, we recommend heartworm prevention as part of your pets regular care.

Do you take payments?

We understand the burden finances can place and we are happy to accept Care Credit. You can apply by going to We do not offer in-house financing at this time; however, we do accept pre-payments to help with budgeting.

Do I need an exam for vaccinations or medications?

We are required by law to have a current annual exam on file to administer any vaccines or medications.  This includes medications filled by a third-party pharmacy.

I found a pet, what do I do?

If you are able to safely transport the pet, you can stop by our office anytime during business hours and we’ll be happy to scan for a microchip to see if we can get the pet reunited with its owners. If you cannot safely catch or bring the pet to be scanned, please call Whatcom County Animal Control at 360-733-2080 ext. 3017.

How often does my pet need to go to the vet?

If you’re not noticing any abnormalities with your pet, then we will only need to see them once a year for their annual exam.

What types of animals do you treat?

We are happy to provide care for dogs and cats, but we have been known to trim guinea pig, turtle, and bird toenails!

My pet is overweight, what should I do?

If you notice your pet is looking a little more like a potato than a Persian, here’s some helpful tips. If applicable, stop free-feeding – no more bowl of food for them to chow from whenever they want; it’s important to know exactly how much your pet is eating in a day. For weight loss, decrease their daily food intake by 25% and weight them monthly. It’s free to come in and weigh your pets on our scale. Treats are calories too, so even if your pet is only eating a tiny bit of kibble, they could be getting excess calories from treats, so make sure you compensate with less kibble or wet food. Thirdly, don’t trust the pet food bag!! Pet food bag recommended portions are notoriously generous and don’t take into account your pet’s lifestyle, metabolism and caloric requirements. If you’ve done all of these things and are still struggling, make an appointment with Dr. Johner to evaluate your pet’s health and get you pointed in the right direction!

Does he/she really need a cone?

Yes! If your pet just went in for surgery, we always recommend a cone to go home with them. As incisions heal, the pet may try to scratch or lick the area causing irritation that can lead to infection or even worse, the opening of the surgical site.  For less than $10, a cone is a great insurance policy to keep your pet from returning to surgery for repairs.