Let’s face it: pets hate going to the vet. Even the calmest, happiest dog or cat often turns into a wild animal when confronted with the idea of getting in the car for a ride to the vet. Sometimes, even the sound of the cat carrier opening is enough to send a feline into a panicked frenzy. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take as a pet owner to ensure that your furry friends stay as calm as possible when going to the vet.
Choosing a Vet
The first step to ensuring that your pet has a good time at the vet is making sure that the vet you choose is qualified, reputable, and experienced. Check online ratings of vets and ask your friends and neighbors who have pets for recommendations. Choose a vet who prioritizes making animals feel comfortable and who has your pet’s best interests at heart. If possible, try to schedule your dog or cat’s appointments during off-peak hours, so that distractions are at a minimum.
Things to Bring
Many vet exam tables are made of cold, slippery, stainless steel, guaranteed to make your dog or cat feel uncomfortable. An easy way to help your pet feel better is to bring something soft for them to stand on while being examined. A yoga mat or soft blanket can go a long way to helping your puppy or kitten relax. Additionally, a handful of favorite toys or bones can help, as well as treats like catnip to temporarily distract worried kitties.
Practicing at Home
The best way to ensure that your pet keeps it’s cool during a visit to the vet is to practice vet visits at home or on the go. If you have a dog, and regularly walk or drive him or her past the vet, you can stop in occasionally for a visit that does not involve an actual exam. This way, your dog gets used to the vet being a non-threatening place. Additionally, and especially for animal who don’t get to visit the vet in person, you can practice giving exams to get them used to being handled in a slightly strange way. For both dogs and cats, do a practice exam in which you examine their teeth, feel their bellies, and even touch them gently under the tail, all followed by ample hugs and treats. This will gradually train them to be handled in a slightly uncomfortable way without getting too upset.
Take Steps to Make Your Pet Feel Good
Whatever your method, it is important to keep your dog or cat’s best interests at heart. Only choose reputable veterinarians and think about what your pet likes best. This will help you and your best furry friends have a positive, healthy visit to the vet!