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Less Stressful Vet Visits: What Can You Do?

Posted In: Behavior & Training

Does your dog or cat get scared or nervous when going to the vet?  It’s common for pets to feel that way, especially when trips to the veterinarian only happen a few times a year. We have compiled a few tips to help your pet feel more relaxed at veterinary visits:

-Get your pet used to the carrier, leash, and car ride. Especially now that you may find some extra time on your hands at home, you can work on making the trip to the vet enjoyable.  If your pet travels in a carrier, put the carrier in a space where your pet feels comfortable, like your living room or bedroom. Let them become familiar with the carrier, place some treats inside, and add a nice, comfy blanket too.

-To help your pet associate car rides with fun, go for trips around the neighborhood. Have someone in your household ride along and feed your pet yummy treats during the car ride. This will help your pet learn that car rides aren’t so scary.

-Limit your pet’s food intake before your vet appointment so our staff can give your pet treats. This will help your pet learn that the people in the veterinary office are good.

-Pheromones, like Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats, can help your pet stay calm. These products are available for purchase through our online pharmacy or at either Animal Medical Center of Mid America location. The pheromones and come in a spray bottle or diffuser that can be plugged into an electrical outlet at home. Spray the blanket in your pet’s crate and spray the inside of your car before bringing your pet to the veterinarian. You can even spray it on your clothes. The pheromones are safe for fabric, odorless to humans, and last between 4-5 hours.

-Pharmaceuticals. Some pets benefit from medications that will help them to be calm and relaxed. Call us prior to your appointment to discuss pharmaceutical options.

-Finally, your pet picks up on your emotions and often mimics them. If you are anxious (and who isn’t these days?!), your pet will be too, and if you are calm, your pet will feel more relaxed. Take deep breaths and smile. You’ll notice your pet will be more at ease too.

*Updated from an earlier blog post to reflect changes surrounding COVID-19 pandemic.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.