If your cat or dog doesn’t like going to the veterinarian’s office it’s likely you know all about it. You see the anxiety, defensive biting or scratching, hiding when it’s time to go, refusing to go at all . . . all common signs that your pet isn’t pleased with the idea of making that trip with you.
Ways to Prepare Your Pet:
Socialization of pets is important for more reasons than just helping to make trips to the vet go more smoothly; socialization will create a more balanced, well behaved animal that can cope more easily with a variety of situations and stresses. If possible, start socializing your pet at a young age by having them meet and be petted by your friends, family members and children.
Dogs especially need to get used to being around other animals, too, and should always be kept on a leash when visiting the veterinarian. This helps keep them safe and other pets safe, and can also help calm them down if they are already leash trained. The familiarity of the leash and the pressure of your hand on it can alleviate fear and stress.
Bring your pet in for routine visits to their veterinarian just so they become more familiar and comfortable with the place, people and atmosphere. Bring along a few treats for them to have at the animal clinic. If your pet associates the vet’s office with good food and petting, it may help them feel more calm during checkups and other medical procedures.
Finding the Right Veterinarian:
Finding a good veterinarian is as important for your pet as finding the right doctor is for you. There are a few specific things to look for when considering which vet is right for you and your pet.
Ideally, a professional veterinarian has a clean, well maintained office. Overly strong animal smells may be a sign of poor cleaning and may also cause more upset to your pet than they may already feel. The veterinarian should also be calm, patient and show an interest in you and your pet that goes beyond asking the routine questions. A veterinarian that talks to your pet soothingly and does not become angry or flustered if a defensive pet tries to bite or scratch will help create an atmosphere of calm that will be projected onto your animal.
Finally, if your pet just doesn’t warm up to a specific vet, try another one to gauge if the problem is with one particular doctor or the entire experience.
It’s completely all right to shop around for a veterinarian that your pet feels most comfortable with and trusts, so don’t hesitate in asking for recommendations from friends or other pet owners.