Sometimes takin’ our pets to the vet can be might distubin’. It can actually be as painful for you humanz as it is for the pets! After a first trip, our curiosity disappears real quick like and then we can remember all the pokes, prods, and needle sticks we experienced there. I do alright as long as my Lady is with me, but my sister Sallie is a handful. If y’all remember ’bout a year ago when my sister Sallie visited the vet, she was downright unruly! For your pet’s health, and to make things easier on you humanz, it’s important that ya keep your pet’s stress level down. There are few things ya can do to help a pet’s stress level before, and while, you’re at the veterinarian’s office.
5 Steps to Stress Free Vet Visits
Create a Positive Environment
Us pets are like kids. Pets react to their environment and the environment that you humanz create, So, ya got to give us a positive experience right before goin’ to the vet. This will help keep our stress levels down. Let us enjoy playtime and maybe give us a few them favorite treats 🙂 Make sure ya focus all of your attention on your pet durin’ this time, in order to keep their attention on things they like.
Have a Practice Visit
Before takin’ your pet to the vet for shots, vaccinations or any other procedure, try schedulin’ a fun visit. Go in and let em check the place out. Hey, I like that receptionist lady! She always gives me an ear scratch WOOF! Most vets are open to this and will welcome you to come visit and just say WOOF. Spend only a few minutes lettin’ us sniff, walk around (on the leash of course) and get our ears scratched 🙂 This will create a good experience, and memory, for us and the next visit might not be so scary.
Mimic Your Vet
Every visit to the vet usually includes a basic checkup where the vet and assistants are goin’ to take some time to check the overall health and condition of us. You humanz can watch how they do this, where they look, how they touch and feel us. Then, at home, make a habit of doin’ these same things. The goal is to get your dog, or cat, used to the basics of a vet visit so they associate the routine with you and comfort. Many pet owners say that their pets, me included, end up lovin’ the routine and find it calmin’ and relaxin’.
Maintain A Calm Attitude
Us pets can pick up on your attitude and stress levels. If you’re stressed, it can cause us to feel stress and anxiety too. Make sure that before, on the way, and while at the vet you’re stay calm and positive for your pet to see. Make sure that your interactions with your pet are all calm and focused on your pet. This will help reduce any stress goin’ into the vet and while you are waitin’ so that the other exercises you practiced will help to keep stress to a minimum.
Know Your Pets Triggers
If there are certain things or experiences that increase your pet’s stress or anxiety, do what you can to eliminate them from their visits. For example, if your pet is high energy first thing in the mornin’, try for a later appointment when they are calmer. If your pet gets skittish with other pets in the same room, try to book an appointment time when the office is slower.
Most of my brothers and sisters do purdy good goin’ to see the vet and I don’t mind to much. My sister Maggie tries to hide behind the chair, but she don’t give em no trouble. Sallie is just a pickle! She is an all out momma’s girl and don’t like no one else to touch her. But, if my Lady is holdin’ her, she will let the lady vet take care of her. Our vet has been takin’ care care Sallie since she was 4 weeks old, Sallie ought to know the routine by now – ya think?!
There is also a problem if you know your pet doesn’t care for someone. For example, one time on an emergency, our lady vet was out of the office and the man vet tried to touch Sallie. That did not go well at all! In the end, my Lady did the doctorin’ while he told her what to do. I swear that Sallie is a tough cookie! So, my Lady knows to always try and make sure our normal lady vet is in the office for our regular visits.
A Final Word
If you have a pet that becomes extremely stressed and anxious when goin’ to the vet, you might consider medication as a last resort. If my Lady knows that Sallie is gonna have blood work or somethin’ like that, she gets an anti-anxiety medication from the vet to give her right ‘fore they go. It helps Sallie settle down enough to make it through the visit. My Lady don’t like givin’ the medication, but it’s better on Sallie than gettin’ so worked up and her heart a beatin’ outta her chest! In the end it is the lesser of the two evils.