Going to the doctor can be a stressful experience for your dog or cat, and you might hear complaints from them when you walk through the hospital doors. There are some things that you can do to help decrease the amount of anxiety your pet feels when visiting the veterinarian.
Here are six ways to help keep dogs and cats calm at the vet:
- Remain calm. Many pets will mirror the feelings of their owners. When you’re anxious, your pet will be, too. If you are composed, you can often help alleviate some of your pet’s fears.
- Practice at home.Get your pet used to an exam at home in a non-stressful environment. Look in your pet’s ears, mouth, and feel its belly and feet. Get your pet used to having these areas handled so it’s not an uncomfortable experience during the exam.
- Make the veterinarian’s office a fun place to go.Bring your pet into the veterinarian’s office for visits just to say hello and get a treat. Your pet will begin to associate the office with good things.
- Keep your pet under control. When visiting the vet, dogs should be on leashes and cats should be in crates to help reduce stress. This can also help prevent escapes. Leashes and crates are also good when other pets don’t want to be greeted, should they have anxiety or are ill themselves.
- If possible, avoid a busy waiting room.If your pet is fearful of other pets, ask to be scheduled for a less busy time or for your pet to be put into an exam room immediately. This can help to decrease the stress associated with a busy waiting area.
- Determine who should be in the exam room. Some pets will be calmer without you being present; others may be calmer with their owners in the room. It may take some experimentation to find out what makes your pet most comfortable.