Vet visits are commonly a stressful time for most pets as generally they only visit the vet for their annual vaccinations, or when they are injured or unwell.
When you sit back and reflect on it; being removed from home, restrained in a car, taken to a clinic that smells and sounds like other animals, and then there’s that dreaded thermometer… the entire process has the potential to be quite traumatic.
Unfortunately, these experiences will likely create a negative association for our pets with the vet. For you as their owners, and for us as veterinary professionals, it is therefore our job to work together to create the most positive, stress free experience as possible. We therefore hope this article helps to give you some tips and insights into building a positive and stress free future visits to the vet!
So, how can YOU help reduce the stress on your pet when visiting the vet?
Its recommended to make your pet accustomed to the process of going to vet, and in doing so working at having a positive association with the vet.
This can be achieved through positive vet visits whereby your pet is brought to the vet with no intention of treatments/procedures, gets given a treat or a pat and then gets to leave. At WellPet we encourage owners to bring their pets for positive vet visits as often as possible. If your pet is brought to the vet without having any scary procedures hopefully they will be able to positively associate the vet with treats and pats rather than needles and temperature checks.
What about in the CAR?
All pets need to be securely restrained when travelling in the car (i.e.- a harness which clips into the seatbelt or a secure carrier)
Encourage a positive association with the car (i.e. – ensure your pet is comfortable and happy in the car. Practice short, positive car travel to other places besides the vet e.g.- the park or the beach)
Ensure your pet has an empty stomach before the vet visit- this will help prevent car sickness, and also make them more responsive to treats at the vet!
Some things that WELLPET do to reduce the stress of your pets when visiting our clinics include;
Pheromones – WellPet endorses the use of Cat and dog synthetic pheromones within our hospitals in order to further calm our canine and feline patients.
Treats – Given freely at all of our WellPet clinics to encourage pets to have positive experience within our hospitals.
WellPet encourages the use of separate consult rooms for cats and dogs where possible to avoid smells which alert and stress patients.
Smells: towels are changed and tables are disinfected after each patient as well as the use of pheromones to calm and comfort.
All WellPet staff are sensitive to the feelings of their patients in hospital, and are aware that when they are admitted they are generally feeling unwell, uncomfortable and may be stressed and anxious being away from home. All staff do what they can to ensure patients remain as calm, comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Cages are padded, private and cozy. Food, water and toilet breaks are made readily available.
Patients’ visual contact with other animals in hospital is reduced and patients are given opportunities to hide in their units so they can feel safe and secure.
Dog/cats/pocket pets/wildlife are placed in separate areas of the hospital to avoid scents which alert and stress patients, therefore resulting in a negative experience
Next time you make a booking at our hospitals, ensure you take time to think about how to make the visit a positive one and if you are unsure talk to our friendly staff at the time of booking!
This article is in this weeks Vet Report in Nepean News: https://issuu.com/