No matter how amazing your veterinarian may be, a visit to the vet clinic can be stressful to your pet. Whether it be for a routine exam or for an illness or ailment, our pets may not always understand that visiting the vet is in their best interest. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t help to soothe their nerves along the way. Here, we would like to discuss some ways to help your pet de-stress for their vet visit.
The car ride… Depending on your pet, the car ride over can either be enjoyable or stressful. For dogs, car rides are usually an enjoyable experience. Cats tend to enjoy car rides much less. Cats should always be transferred in a carrier, as this can keep everyone safer on the ride over. Consider using a blanket over the carrier- but be sure your pet still has air flow. Blocking their vision to their surroundings can keep them feeling safe.
If you have a pet that is prone to motion sickness, you can ask your vet about an anti-nausea med or alternative that can aid with the uneasiness that comes from vehicle travel. You can also try out a safety harness that will help to keep your pet contained to one specific area of the vehicle. This will keep you and your pet safer and less stressed out as they won’t be moving around the vehicle while en route.
Make it an easier day… If your pet is already prone to stress, try to make it as easy of a day as possible. Don’t worry about giving them a bath or doing any unnecessary extras- especially if your furry friend is already feeling rather lousy. If they are already worked up and upset, don’t hesitate to push off or reschedule the extra nail trim or grooming you may have wanted to include.
Use a sedative if necessary… If your veterinarian has recommended it, consider using a sedative for overly stressed or anxious pets. The science of sedation has come a long way and most vets are familiar with and are comfortable recommending a sedative that can help de-stress an upset pet. If your pet is amongst the many who become overly upset about a vet visit, talk to your veterinarian about a possible sedative.
Stay calm… It is very important that you stay calm as well. Our pets can really sense and feel our energy. Staying calm and in control can help your pet to maintain a more calm disposition also. We can sometimes allow the stress of an impending appointment or anticipation of how your pet will react to overwhelm our ability to control the energy of a vet visit.
Consider a house call… If you have a pet that is beyond consolation, consider having your vet come to you. It may cost a little extra, but it could be worth it for those pets that really can’t handle a trip to the office. Your veterinarian may or may not offer this service, but you can always ask for a recommendation of one who does.
Remember, we have to listen to our furry friends. Pay attention to their signals and get a gauge for what makes them comfortable. Don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarian for tips or ideas on how to help your furbaby to have the best vet experience possible.