Here are some tips that can make your next Veterinary visit easier for you AND your best friend!
DREAD taking “Fluffy” to the vet? Anxiety, stress or fear make you DREAD taking your best friend to the veterinary clinic?
Well, don’t feel bad, because you are NOT alone! Studies show that over 75% of pet parents become stressed or anxious over just the thought of bringing their pet to the vet hospital. Why? Majority of the time this is due to our fears of what may come: fighting to get “Fluffy” into her carrier, “Bailey” becoming carsick on the ride, or “George” loudly barking with excitement at all of the other pets in the waiting room. We hate to see our beloved pets anxious, stressed or uncomfortable and in turn, this makes US feel anxious, stressed and uncomfortable! We LOVE our furry companions, and many times care for them as if they were our own children! We understand that a visit to the veterinary office can sometimes be a stressful one and we are here to tell you that IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!
SO…what can we do about this? We all know that it is in our pets best interests to visit their veterinarian AT LEAST once per year. What can we do to make these visits less stressful for both our pet AND us?
Well, we have some great tips and suggestions that just might work for you!
1. NUMBER ONE! REMEMBER that your pets are extremely in tune with your own feelings! It has been proven that dogs can even mirror their owner’s cortisol levels! So if YOU are stressed or fearful, your pet will be stressed and fearful too! Remember to remain calm, trusting and fear-free and your pet will feed off of your calm behavior and feel more at ease.
2. It has been proven that clothing CAN in fact cause anxiety, or it can provide calming relief! Silly as it may sound, it is true! For example, STRIPES have been proven to cause added stress to pets, while PASTEL colors are known to provide a calming effect. It isn’t clear exactly why, but some professionals have tried to speculate.
Another helpful tip: Consider playing classical, or other calming music, during your car ride to the vet’s office and even use sunshades to block some of the outdoor sights and sounds! Unusual, unfamiliar or scary sights and sounds can amp up anxiety and stress BEFORE your pet even reaches the veterinarian’s office!
3. If your kitty is not accustomed to car rides, consider using a crate cover or a blanket/sheet placed over their carrier to keep them feeling safe and secure. This can also block out additional noises and help prevent motion sickness. For your dog, consider discussing with your veterinarian about prescribing an anti-nausea, anti-anxiety medication that can be given 15-30 minutes prior to your appointment to provide calming relief to your car sick companion.
4. For dogs sensitive to sounds or loud barking, consider looking into Mutt Muffs. Dogs seem to LOVE them!
5. Find an veterinary office that uses calming and relaxing essential oils in their waiting area (WE DO!)
6. Cats are territorial animals and can be very averse to change or suddenly being put into a place they are not familiar with.
7. If you have a kitty who despises their carrier, consider leaving their carrier out as a normal piece of furniture, or at minimum for 3-4 days PRIOR to your visit. Just as cats LOVE boxes, their carrier often becomes a regular place for them to seek comfort which allows them to become familiar and accustomed to their carrier so when it is time to be used, it will be stress free for them AND for you! You can even use a cloth to wipe all over your cat and allow them to rub against it and then use this to wipe down the insides of the carrier to transfer their scents into the carrier. Don’t be surprised if you eventually find your kitty sleeping or just chilling in their carrier when you aren’t looking!
These are only a few of the tips and tricks we have up our sleeve at TSVC to assist in making our patients’ and pet parents’ experiences a happy, fear-free one! Please call us to schedule your pet’s next appointment! 480-945-8484
*Photos courtesy of google images*