Maybe you’re the lucky human whose pets are as cool as a cucumber at the vet’s office. But for most of us, a trip to the veterinary hospital for our pet’s exam is definitely no walk in the park. Pets can be stressed, anxious, and fearful when traveling to the vet, as well as while in the office, and it’s hard to see our beloved pets in such a state.
But, because we know that regular visits for preventive care – even when your pet is seemingly healthy – is one of the best ways to give them a healthier and happier life, we want to make those visits easier for you and for your pets. So we decided to share some ideas on what we’re doing as well as what you can do as a pet owner to make vet visits less stressful.
Focus on Reducing Fear
Although cats outnumber dogs as pets in American households, cats tend to be seen less often at the veterinary hospital for preventive care. The main reason is that pet owners don’t like having to catch them, put them in a carrier, and deal with a fearful cat at the hospital. This means that we have become more focused on cats and how to help them be less anxious and stressed at the vet. Here’s what we’ve done to help:
Fear-Free Certified – Our veterinarians and staff have gone through specific training to teach us techniques to reduce fear and anxiety in pets before and during their exams and procedures.
Cat friendly – We’ve become a Certified Cat-Friendly Practice, meaning your cat’s visit will be low-stress, thanks to the feline-friendly modifications we’ve made to our facilities and bedside manner.
Comfort packs – We’ve put together Comfort Packs for both cat and dogs, to help your pet with fear, anxiety, and stress. Check out our offerings, can call us to talk about this option for your pet.
What You Can Do To Make Vet Visits Less Stressful
You can also do some things ahead of your visit to help your pets. Here are some tips:
- Keep calm! Your own anxiety can contribute to your pet’s fear.
- Get your pet used to being handled. Work with your pet to make sure they are comfortable with having their ears, mouth, feet, and tail handled. Make these pleasurable experiences so that it’s easier for them in an exam.
- Get the right cat carrier. A hard sided top load carrier can help keep your cat less stressed at the vet, because we can remove the top and do her exam with her still inside the carrier.
- Make your cat’s carrier part of the furniture. Leave your cat’s carrier out all the time, as a part of her regular environment – so that it doesn’t evoke fear when it comes out. Keep it cozy and add treats and toys inside to encourage her to use it as a regular resting and safe space.
- Get your pet used to the car. Take short, happy trips in the car before traveling to the vet’s office.
- Comfort packs. Again, ask us about this resource to help your pet feel relaxed before and during their vet visit.
- Pheromones can help. Cat and dog pheromones can ease the stress and fear of new situations by emitting a hormone that evokes a sense of calm and familiarity. These are available in our Comfort Packs, as well as at reputable pet supply retailers.
A Final Word
It’s our goal to help your pet and to make vet visits less stressful so that your pet can get the regular care they need for a long and healthy life. Our behavioral training is one option, but if you have questions about how to help, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.