Fear Free Vet Visits
How to Prepare your Pet for their Visit to the Vet
Tips for Dog Owners:
- We recommend purchasing a harness or fixed length leash. This allows more control during what can be a somewhat anxious visit.
- Condition them early to enjoy car rides. Start with short drives around the neighborhood. Feed treats and make it a positive experience. Add more and more time as they get used to it. If ever anxious, stop and try again another day.
- On the day of the visit, feed a small meal in the morning. If they are hungry, your dog will respond better to food rewards at the veterinary hospital. A calm stomach leads to a calm mind. ( This does not apply to diabetic animals )
- Bring in their favorite treat, kibble, or toy. You are the best at knowing what your dog goes crazy over!
- During the car ride try some calming classical music. It is said to soothe even a dog’s nerves.
- Speak in a low voice. High pitched praise can often increase anxiety.
- If you have an anxious dog, leave them in the car and check in with the receptionist. They will advise you when an exam room is available. Limiting time in the waiting room creates a calmer visit.
- If your dog is often fearful, a great book to read is “Decoding Your Dog”. You can find it on Amazon.com
Tips for Cat Owners:
- We recommend purchasing a carrier that opens from the top and/or has an easily removable top. Pulling or dumping a scared cat from a carrier is stressful.
- Place the carrier in a central area of the home at least 3 days prior to the exam. Wipe the carrier with pheromone wipes ( Feliway) and place their bed and treats inside. Make their carrier a happy and not a scary place. This will make getting them into it a much easier process for you and them.
- When driving make sure the carrier is flat. You may use towels to make sure it does not slip or tilt.
- Cover the carrier to reduce stimuli.
- Play calming classical music to decrease anxiety.
- Speak in a low calm voice. High pitched praise or reaffirmation often increases anxiety.
- When you arrive, carry the carrier with both hands like you are cradling a present. This prevents the cat from being jostled and unbalanced.
- If you must wait in the waiting area, face the carrier away from any other cats present and place your cat on our bench and not the floor.
We hope it helps lessen stress for you and your pet!