Do you ever have a hard time getting your pet to the vet?
A veterinary hospital can be a very scary place for your pet to go… So many different smells, other animals, and don't forget about all the new people! Hospital visits can be distressing for both the pet and owner, however, there are some things you can do to make your appointments less stressful each time:
The first thing to help make visits less stressful is making the kennel a safe place for your pet. When at the Vets kennels are the only thing that smells like home and can be very comforting to your pets. When your pet is a puppy or kitten, kennel training is very important. Never use the kennel as a punishment; if not used correctly, a pet can feel trapped and frustrated in their kennel. Your pet may come to fear it and refuse to enter it. After you have kennel trained your pet, it will make coming to the hospital that bit more comforting.
If you have a larger animal, sometimes you can't bring your kennel with you. Instead, reward them with treats that are low in fat/calories. These rewards will also make coming to the hospital a better experience.
As mentioned previously, some pets respond well to treats and they help distract them from potentially unpleasant situations. Always take tasty treats and maybe even your pets favorite toy to reward your pet for good behavior when you visit the veterinarian. Try having the veterinarian or technician also give them treats to help your pets build their relationship and learn to trust them. This will help make a stressful experience, into a more pleasant one.
-Just make sure you get a low-calorie treat to reduce any weight gain!
When you get your pet at a young age, it is important to socialize them with other people and animals. (Don’t forget to get all of their core vaccines before socializing!) Socializing your pet helps them get use to strangers and become less aggressive towards people and other animals. Pets are most accepting of new experiences between 3 and 12 weeks of age. After that age, they become much more cautious of anything they haven’t yet encountered. You need to make sure that the situation is not overwhelming for them, and they will become more comfortable each time you expose them to something new.
If your pet seems to be very anxious, your Veterinarian can prescribe anxiety medication and/or sedatives to keep them calm. Some pets suffer from anxiety just like people. There are many types of medications that can keep your pets from becoming ruffled. For example: Feliway is a behavioral treatment in the form of a spray and/or wipes. Feliway makes felines comfortable by releasing a pheromone which helps them cope with environmental changes or stressful events. A similar product is also available for dogs. Depending on the situation and pet, prescribed oral medications may help. Speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
Vet hospitals can be a stressful place for our pets, but together we can help make it a positive, happy environment. The more your pet gets used to coming in to visit us for annual exams and regular checkups the less stressful they will become. Have your pet get familiar with the hospital, veterinarians, and technicians so they are happy and actually want to come see their friends!
If you have any concern at all about bringing your pet to the vet, you can always contact them ahead of time to discuss how we can help make it easier for everyone!