8 Tips For A Stress-Free Veterinary Visit
Keeping your furry companion healthy requires regular veterinary visits. Many people often assume that trips to the vet are necessary only for accidents or illnesses, but once they have a pet, they’ll realize this isn’t true. Regular veterinary visits for annual checks and vaccinations is important to avoid serious pet health issues. Your pet will need to visit a veterinarian at some point during their lives, and it’s important to make the visit as comfortable as possible.
For some pets, going to the veterinary clinic can be a real hassle, especially if they’ve had bad experiences in the past. It is possible for your pet to become even more tense when they are exposed to new smells, other animals, bright lights and different noises.
Many pets quickly associate veterinary visits with discomfort, pain, and stress, and it won’t take them long to pick up on the signals of an upcoming trip to the vet. The stress of putting a struggling cat into a carrier or dealing with a carsick dog can also cause pet parents to delay or put off taking their pets to the vet on a regular basis.
Here are eight preparation tips to help you and your pet to have a more positive veterinary visit:
1. Get Your Pet Used To Being Handled
Your pet might not be used to being handled in the same manner a veterinarian will use when doing an examination. Spend some time getting your pet accustomed to getting examined at home when they are calm, and be gentle when holding their paws, ears, and tail. By offering high-value treats at the beginning of the process, your pet will learn to associate these actions with positive experiences. Start handling your pet from young as soon as you can. You can inspect their ears and mouths, touch their legs, chest, belly, and tail, and play with their paws. The veterinarian will be able to diagnose any health problems much more easily for your pet as a result of this conditioning.
2. Plan Random Fun Visits to the Veterinarian
This helps your pet become familiar with the car trip and the new surroundings at the veterinarian. Encourage positive associations by giving treats to your pet, reassuring them, and letting them interact with veterinarian staff.
3. Make the Carrier or Leash Your Pet’s Friend
Our pets may become anxious just by seeing the pet carrier because they only associate it with one use — a trip to the veterinary clinic. If your pet only ever sees their carrier when you take them to the see the vet, they are likely to run when they see you take it out. In order to lessen the association, use the carrier for other trips besides veterinary visits. Offer treats to your pets whenever they are hanging out in the carrier or crate. Include a favourite blanket or toy in the carrier with your pet to increase comfort. By taking these steps, your pet will become accustomed to the carrier as their safe zone.
4. Exercise Your Pet
It is helpful to walk your dog or play fetch before a veterinary appointment so that your dog can feel relaxed and less stressed. Avoid waking up your cat while it’s sleeping if you have to place them into the carrier; instead, play with them first to burn off some energy. When our four-legged friends are tired, they become more relaxed and easier to handle.
5. Ensure Comfortable Pet Transport
Veterinary visits can be made pleasant with a comfortable travel experience. Dogs usually enjoy car rides, but they feel safer and more at ease in a carrier or crate. Prior to the appointment, try bringing your pet on small car trips, playing soft music, and speaking in a comforting tone of voice. Allow plenty of time to travel to your appointment so that you can arrive the destination relaxed and stress-free.
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6. Bring Your Pet to the Appointment Hungry
Skip a meal before the appointment and bring your pet’s favourite treats to reward their good behavior and to distract them during unpleasant procedures. Throughout the visit, use food to help comfort your pet, which works best when they are hungry. Distract your pet with treats while the veterinarian team is handling them, after the exam is over, and when you leave the clinic.
7. Stay Calm
Pets are sensitive and can pick up on emotional signs from their owners. If you’re anxious and stressed out, your pet will be affected too. Talk calmly and reassuringly to your pet before (and throughout) your visit. To avoid rushing about anxiously at the last minute, gather everything you need for the veterinary visit in advance.
8. Be Well-Prepared
Having your pet’s medical records, as well as the names and dosage rates of any medications they are on, will help you save time in the examination room. Details of your pet’s diet and their usual exercise routine can be useful too. Allowing plenty of time to get to the appointment can also help ensure you’re not feeling rushed and stressed.
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