Going to the vet can be a stressful event for many pets. After all, it’s a new environment where they will be handled in strange ways by unfamiliar people. It’s not uncommon for dogs and cats to feel anxious during an otherwise harmless check-up. Luckily, there are many ways to make your pet feel more comfortable going to the vet.
Before the vet Visit
You should make some preparations before taking your canine companion or feline friend to the vet. If you do not know how long your visit will take, you should remember to feed them beforehand. However, you may want to contact your vet and ask if they plan to run any tests that require your pet to fast beforehand.
You should also remember to bring along some pet toys to help keep them feel comfortable and distracted during the visit.
If you are taking your cat or a small dog to the vet’s office, you should ideally transport them in a pet carrier. If your canine is too large to fit into a carrier, you should keep them on a leash during transportation.
Some pets get anxious about being around other animals. So it’s best to call your vet beforehand and ask if the clinic is busy on that particular day.
At the Pet Clinic
After arriving at the clinic, you should leave your pet in the car, with the AC on of course, while filling out forms. It may help to hire a dog walker or a pet sitter to look after them when you are inside.
Once the vet is available to see you and your pet, you should bring them into the clinic. You should ideally get them into the examination room as quickly as possible. This will help them avoid any unwanted confrontations with other animals there.
During the Examination
Veterinarians and their assistants are skilled at keeping your pet calm during routine examinations. However, it’s best to stick close by and offer additional emotional support as needed.
If your pet becomes frightened during the examination, you should try and distract them with toys or by talking to them in a calm and comforting voice. Some pets get aggressive when they are scared, so you may need to use some firm commands such as “sit” or “stay” to get them to obey.
If your pet is calm and obedient during the examination, you can reward them with a small treat. This could be useful each time they are compliant with a different test such as a temperature check, or a mouth examination.
The aforementioned tips are easy to follow; however, they may not work with all pets. If your canine companion has had a poor experience at the vet’s office in the past, they may be reluctant to get into the car with you.
You may be able to ease their fear with “practice” runs, where you drive them to parks and playgrounds. Over time, they will become more comfortable being in the car, and will remain calm when you drive them to the vet’s office