Regular veterinarian trips for pet wellness exams and checkups are crucial to keeping your pet in good health. If your furry friend has anxiety about going to the animal hospital, though, it can make the trips stressful for everyone involved. Below are a few ways to ease your pet’s nerves on your next trip.
How to Reduce Your Pet’s Anxiety at the Vet
1. Schedule ‘Happy Visits’
Check with your animal hospital to see if they offer what’s known as ‘happy visits’ for nervous pets. These visits are often free or very inexpensive, and they focus on acclimating your pet to the staff without any medical tests or checkups.
You’ll take your furry friend in, and the staff will play with them and give them treats for a few minutes, and then you leave. Doing this a few times will teach your pet to be excited and comfortable about seeing the veterinarian instead of only having negative impressions.
2. Take Them Other Places In the Car
If your dog solely associates car rides with the doctor, they’ll begin to get nervous as soon as you ask them to get in the vehicle. Combat this by taking them to other places in the car that they enjoy, like a dog park, to go for a walk in a new neighborhood, or to go to a pet event.
3. Use Anti-Anxiety Products
Anti-anxiety products designed for pets may also be helpful. Calming treats and supplements that are approved by your pet’s doctor will help relax them, so try giving one to them about half an hour before you leave, so they’re calmer during the ride and appointment. There are also anti-anxiety compression vests for cats and dogs that are proven to ease anxiety and keep them comfortable during stressful events.
4. Take Treats & Toys
Taking your pet’s favorite treats and toys with you to the next appointment will give them a positive association with the office, similar to happy visits. It also keeps them entertained and behaved while waiting in the lobby, distracting them from other animals that may be there, too.
5. Reward Them After
After each appointment, if your pet is able, take them for a walk in the park, to get special puppy-safe treats or a new toy. Be consistent so they’ll associate the visits with a positive event, making them even more excited to go.
Does your pet need an experienced veterinarian who will understand their anxiety? Avon Animal Hospital in Livingston County, NY, has provided compassionate care since 1965. Their team will prioritize your pet’s comfort, recommending calming supplements and scheduling happy visits to make your pet’s experience positive. Their comprehensive pet wellness services include animal dentistry, surgical care, and in-house diagnostics and lab work. Learn more about their services online and call (585) 226-6144 for an appointment today.