Tips for Making Veterinary
Visits Less Stressful

Understanding that vet visits can be anxiety-inducing for both pets and owners, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to alleviate the stress associated with these visits.

Familiarise your pet with handling

Dogs tend to be sensitive around their ears and feet. Regularly accustoming your pet to ear handling, including gentle insertion of your fingertip, can be highly beneficial. Similarly, engaging with their paws, particularly between the toes, can assist your veterinarian during examinations. Employing high value treats or toys, along with praise and gentle petting, effectively diverts their attention during potentially discomforting procedures. By fostering an understanding that positive experiences are linked to handling, you can significantly diminish fear and anxiety in your pet.

Use a calming scent

Consider using a pheromone spray or diffuser before and during your visit to help your pet feel more relaxed. These products mimic natural pheromones that are released by cats and dogs to create a calming environment.

Schedule appointments to your pet’s comfort

Vet clinics can be noisy and chaotic places, which can be overwhelming for some pets. If your pet is anxious around other animals, inform us beforehand so we can try to make the experience less stressful. We can try to book your appointments for times when the clinic is less busy or make arrangements for you to wait in a quieter space, minimising unnecessary stress.

The carrier is a cat’s friend, not a foe

If your pet isn’t used to being in a carrier, this could be the cause of their stress. To prevent your cat from associating the carrier solely with vet visits, leave it accessible at all times. Place their carrier in a common area of your home and encourage them to explore it on their own. Offer treats or toys as incentives. Use it as a treat dispenser by routinely placing high value treats inside with the door open. Additionally, lining the carrier with a blanket sprayed with Feliway can create a more comforting environment for your cat.

Drop by with your pet for Happy Visits

Combat your pet’s negative association with the clinic by bringing them in for non-medical visits filled with treats and positive interactions without any injections. Frequent visits for gentle massages, belly rubs, and special treats can significantly reduce any apprehension.

Project calmness and assurance

Your pet can pick up on your emotions, so it is important to stay calm and relaxed during the visit. Speak to your pet in a soft, reassuring tone and refrain from excessive petting that might signal your own unease.

Utilise treats to distract and reward

Arriving with a hungry pet can make them more receptive to treats as a distraction during the visit. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in helping your pet feel less anxious during their visit. Offer treats and praise for good behaviour, such as staying calm during an examination.

Ask the veterinarian for help

If your pet experiences extreme fear during clinic visits, consult your veterinarian about possible anti-anxiety measures. Some pets might benefit from mild sedatives, while others might respond well to alternative anxiety-reducing methods such as compression wraps, pheromone sprays, essential oils, or calming supplements.
Please feel free to ask our friendly staff if you have any questions.