Dr. Jennifer Stachnick says we want our pets to have a happy, good experience but coming to the veterinarian is the scariest thing your pet is likely to experience.
There are lots of other things that have to happen. Dr. Stachnick says cats have to go in a carrier and a car, there are barking dogs; a lot of times there can be noises, strange smells; your pet may be handled in a way they are not used to and so it’s very common and normal for pets to experience fear when they are going to the veterinarian and there is nothing to be ashamed about with that.
Dr. Stachnick says there are some steps you can take to help your pet have a more pleasant experience and a lot of that does involve giving a bit of a calming medicine prescribed by your veterinarian the night before or the morning of or both for the visit. She says to talk to your veterinarian to see if that would be a good thing for your pet.
Another suggestion from the doctor includes, for cats, leaving the carrier out all the time. She says you can leave the carrier in a sunny spot, you can feed your cat next to the carrier, on top of the carrier or in the carrier so that the carrier is a fun thing and it’s not a torture chamber hat takes the to the vet only.
For dogs you might want to do happy visits where you can come to your veterinarian’s office, bring some treats or ask the vet for a treat that you can give your dog and maybe check their weight, say hi to the staff and hang out in the waiting room for a couple of minutes. That way every time your pet comes to the office, they aren’t getting a full exam or getting poked and prodded, s that way they can start to build a more pleasant experience. She says three out of four times they come in, get a treat and then that fourth time something more goes on but its not too big of a deal.
For more information visit nfveterinarysociety.org