How to Make Vet Visits a More Pleasant Experience for Your Pet

cat in crate

Does your normally docile, friendly pet turn into the Tasmanian Devil the moment you pull into the veterinarian's parking lot? It's not unusual for pets to feel a little stressed by a visit to the vet. When your dog or cat is anxious or behaves aggressively, a simple checkup can become a difficult experience for both of you. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your pets handle the visits a little better.

Don't Hide the Carrier or Crate

If your pet's carrier or crate only comes out when it's time to visit the vet, he or she may develop a negative association with it. As soon as the carrier makes an appearance, your pet might just decide to curl up under your bed or find another hiding place.

The next time you schedule an appointment for your pet, immediately dust off the crate or carrier and place it in the family room or kitchen with the door open. Add a new toy or tempting treat to convince your dog or cat that the crate or carrier isn't such a bad place to spend a little time. The more time your pet spends in the carrier, the less scary it may become.

Go for a Drive

Pets may also associate your car or truck with veterinary visits if they only ride in your vehicle when they have an appointment. As soon as your dog or cat enters your vehicle, he or she may become fearful or anxious. When pets are already stressed before they even leave your driveway, just walking through the doors of the veterinary clinic can be overwhelming.

You can help your dog or cat relax during car rides by taking him or her for short rides. The first time you go for a drive, you may only want to travel around the block. Gradually increasing the duration of these trips offers a simple way to help your pet adjust to riding in a car or truck. During one of your car rides, you might want to stop by the vet's office for a social call. When your pet realizes that a trip to the vet can be an enjoyable experience, he or she might not be quite so reluctant to get out of the car the next time you visit.

Make Sure Your Dog Knows Basic Commands

Sit, sit and stay, down, come, leave it and other basic commands can help you remain in control of your dog during a visit to the veterinarian. If your pet doesn't know or respond to commands, set aside a little time every night to help him or her master these helpful commands, or enroll your dog in an obedience training course.

Pretend You're a Veterinarian

Performing your own examinations on your pet allows you to identify any strange lumps or bumps and also helps your dog or cat adjust to being handled. Mimic the actions you've seen your pet's veterinarian perform, such as feeling the abdomen and paws and examining the ears and teeth so your pet becomes more accustomed to being touched all over their body.

Try Pheromones

Pheromones, natural chemicals produced by the body, can calm your cat or dog and make him or her feel less anxious or fearful. Pheromone diffusers available in pet stores or online send a steady stream of the chemical into the air. For best results, plug in the diffuser an hour or two before your pet's veterinarian visit. Although pheromones aren't effective for every pet, they're worth a try if veterinary visits are difficult for your furry friend.

Make the Waiting Room Experience More Pleasant

When you enter the waiting room, sit as far away from other pets as possible. If your pet reacts very negatively to the presence of other animals, ask if you can wait in your car until the staff is ready to see your pet. A simple call or text can alert you when the staff can see your dog or cat. If that's not possible, place a towel from home over your cat or small dog's crate or carrier to decrease exposure to troubling sights or smells

Make sure you use a leash and a collar or harness when bringing larger dogs to the vet. In the event that another animal becomes aggressive toward your pet, you'll want to be able to quickly pull him or her back from potential trouble.

Decreasing your pet's stress level will make veterinary visits a much more pleasant experience and help ensure that he or she receives needed care and screenings. If it's time for your pet's checkup, or you're concerned about a health issue, give us a call.

Sources:

Animal Planet: 5 Tips to Make Vet Visits Less Stressful for Your Cat

http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/less-stressful-vet-visits/

Veterinary Practice News: Dogs and Going to the Vet, 12/28/15

https://veterinarypracticenews.com/dogs-and-going-to-the-vet/

Cesar’s Way: Did Somebody Say ‘V-E-T’?

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/choosing-working-with-a-vet/did-somebody-say-vet

Save on Dental Cleaning

20% off Regular Dental Cleaning During Feburary

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Tuesday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Wednesday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Thursday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Friday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Saturday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Sunday:

closed

closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Wow! Thanks to all the staff at Anderson Vet Clinic. I feel like you all truly love what you do! My kitty, Lola and I always have such a pleasant experience when we come in. Fortunately, it’s usually just for a check-up, but I would not leave Lola in anyone else’s hands but yours. Thank you for your caring commitment!"
    Maya Smith / Los Angeles, CA
  • "I have benefited tremendously from the care my pet received from Dr. Anderson."
    John Doe / San Diego, CA
  • "Fabio wasn’t eating the food I was giving him and I didn’t feel he was getting the nutrition he needed. Thanks to Dr. Anderson, he evaluated Fabio and his current diet to make some recommendations and now Fabio has gone from barely eating to finishing his meals and he looks healthier than ever. You clearly are an expert in your field...thanks so much!"
    Tara Brown / Kansas City, MO

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

    Skunks

    Home and Veterinary Care for Pet Skunks If you're an adventurous pet owner, you may love exotic animals such as skunks. You'll be happy to learn that skunks can indeed make excellent domestic pets, but only if they receive the proper care to enjoy a happy, healthy life. Your veterinary team can help ...

    Read More

    Sugar Gliders

    Thinking of getting a sugar glider? These tiny marsupials are energetic and friendly, making them popular choices as pets. Though they weigh less than a half-pound, they're more closely related to kangaroos than they are flying squirrels. If you think a sugar glider would make an ideal pet for your family, ...

    Read More

    Flying Squirrels

    Much like sugar gliders, flying squirrels make affectionate pets when purchased young and raised by their owner. Unlike sugar gliders, however, flying squirrels are rodents that need veterinary care specific to the species. Your veterinary team can help with the care and treatment of flying squirrels. ...

    Read More

    Rats

    Did you know rats make surprisingly affectionate pets? If you're thinking of bringing home a pet rat, here's what you need to know. Health Rats that are bred especially as pets are safe to keep and should be free of disease. But common conditions may affect your rats from time to time. Your veterinarian ...

    Read More

    Chinchillas

    Chinchillas are playful, loveable, and amusing pets. If you want yours to remain in your family for long, you should ensure that it has a good diet. Chinchillas require a lot of attention due to their playful nature; therefore, it is best to have supervised playtime with yours if you want to create a ...

    Read More

    Fennec Foxes

    Fennec Fox Care Guide With oversized ears and mischievous faces, fennec foxes are cute as can be. But these exotic pets require a lot of care to stay healthy and happy. Health At just three pounds, fennec foxes are the smallest member of the fox family. Native to the Sahara desert, fennec foxes are ...

    Read More

    Guinea Pigs

    Curious and inquisitive by nature, guinea pigs make great pets. These little bundles of fur are quite social and enjoy spending time with the people who handle, feed, and groom them. As a pet, guinea pigs are relatively low maintenance, rarely aggressive, and fun to own. How to Care Guinea pigs are playful, ...

    Read More

    Prairie Dogs

    Prairie dogs are cute, affable creatures. But before taking one on as a pet, check your local laws. In some states, such as Colorado, it's illegal to keep prairie dogs as pets. Mostly, this is because they may spread monkeypox. If you live in a state that welcomes pet prairie dogs, be sure to buy from ...

    Read More

    Gerbils

    Gerbils are great little pets for pet owners who don't have room for a dog or cat. They're friendly and fun to watch, but they do take a moderate level of care and investment. If you're thinking of getting a gerbil, here's what you'll need to know to keep him happy and healthy, including giving him a ...

    Read More

    Hedgehogs

    Shy animals that roll into a ball when scared, hedgehogs are covered with spiky quills. They're small, clean, and fun to watch so they're quite popular as pets. Even so, these little guys need lots of activity to stay healthy. Health Hedgehogs can have health problems, including dental diseases, skin ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles