Both people and their animals can find veterinary visits a nerve-wracking experience. But you don’t need too! Annual wellness visits (as well as visit for medical concerns) are an important part of your pets’ health. There are some steps you can take to make it more pleasant.
Choose a clinic where you are comfortable. The staff should be patient and take the time to connect with you and get to know you and your pet. There should be a comfortable waiting area where dogs and cats can be kept separate to decrease stressful interactions. If your dog doesn’t like other dogs, ask to be shown directly to an exam room.
If your pet doesn’t enjoy the travel to the clinic, consider asking your vet to prescribe them an anti-anxiety medication to take the edge off before the trip. Another option that can help are stress-relieving pheromone sprays. These mimic the natural pheromones that mothers release that comfort their young.
A thunder shirt is another good consideration. This is a firm blanket that the dog wears that stimulates the pets parasympathetic (calming aspect of the) nervous system and are proven to decrease anxiety. Or even better, all of the above! Consult with your vet on the best approach.
If all else fails set up a house call. Pets are most comfortable in their own home and your veterinarian can get to know your pet as they are in their normal environment.
Cori Phinn is a Veterinarian in Scotts Valley, CA and Owner of Coast Veterinary Services. She provides medicine, dentistry, and acupuncture to dog, cat, and horse patients. She spends her free time loving and wrangling her kids, trail riding her horse, and dreaming up newspaper articles. Learn more about Cori and her clinic at www.coastvet.net.