Going to the vet can be stressful for both animals and their humans. Here are some helpful tips to follow when bringing your pet to the vet that can make both yours and others’ visit less stressful!
1) Keep your pet controlled/contained- Make sure your dog isn’t running around the office off leash, disturbing others and causing mayhem. Keeping them on a standard (non-retractable) leash and close to you will keep the atmosphere calmer. PLEASE keep your dog on a leash when walking from your car to the office, as well, no matter how well your dog listens, the last thing we want is for any unfortunate accidents. It is always astounding to see how many people let their dogs loose in the parking lot. If you have a cat, rodent, or bird, keep them in a secured crate and face them away from all the action in the office if it is stressing them out. No one wants a bird flying around the clinic.
2) Don’t let your pet use this time to make friends- If you allow your pet to go up to other animals or people, it could cause tension, fighting, and unnecessary injury, as well as furthering the stress of the other animals. Keep play time at the park. If strangers come up to you and your pet without asking, ask them politely to keep a respectable distance, so as to avoid any problems. Your biggest priorty should always be the best intrest of your pet.
3) Potty your pet before coming- do your best to prevent accidents by taking your pet out before coming into the office.
4) Train your pup- If you have a dog, whether big or small, training them in basic skills is essential for successful outings anywhere, including the vet. You’d be surprised how many people think that their lap dog doesn’t need to be trained! Also, giving them commands is a great way to distract them, if they are thinking about the command, they cant think about how nervous/excited they are.
5) Keep office anxiety at a minimum- If your pet hates sitting in the waiting room, keep them in the car with the AC running until it is time for your appointment. Then they can go right in without the stress of the waiting room! This is also great for young animals that havent been fully vacinated yet, you never know what another animal could have.
6) Drop by every so often/Desensitize- A great way to get your pet accustomed to going to the vet is by dropping by during off-peak hours just to say hello to the staff and to get comfortable in the waiting room. Make the experience a positive one for your pet with lots of praise and treats! That way, when the time comes for an actual vet visit, your pet will already be comfortable with the staff and smells of the clinic. These drop by visits should be for desensitization purposes ONLY! Do not decide on the spot to have a treatment or grooming service done. Make an appointment and come back later. Your pet will thank you for it.
7) Stay with your pet- Insist on being present for your pet’s examination so the vet can explain everything they are doing and you can ask any and all the questions you like! If the staff normally has you wait in the waiting room, ask them to make an exception for you and your pet.
Finally, talk to your vet staff- Ask your vet if there is anything you can do to make your trips to the vet less stressful for all involved. They’ve probably had every type of client come into the door and can give you plenty of advice for being the ideal vet visitors! Following these tips are a surefire way make sure that every outing with your pet is a safe and happy one!