Visits to pet hospitals and veterinary practices can take a major toll on the stress levels of your pets. Considering the vet panic that over 46 million dog owners and 38 million cat owners have to deal with, practicing stress reduction for pets could mean the difference between a terrible experience and a smooth visit. Here are four tips to help you make your vet visits less stressful for your pet, and yourself.
Familiarize your pet with being touched
Performing head to tail checkups on your pet at home can not only offer you a chance to bond with your pet, they can help your pet get familiar with being touched and handled. Pet grooming can also help with this, whether you're doing it at home or hiring professional grooming services. Even if you don't know what you're looking for, this will help enormously when your pet is being handled by the veterinary technician.
Get the carrier out
Getting your pet accustomed to being in a carrier is going to help when it comes time to go to the vet. If your pet only sees the carrier when they have to go to the vet, odds are they're going to put up a fight. Incorporating the carrier into daily life as a space for treats or naps can create a better sense of comfort for your pet whne it comes time to go to the vet.
Offer some love and affection
Going to the vet is inevitably going to cause some amount of stress in your pet, but spending the hour before you leave showering your pet with affection can help reduce the severity. Pet hospitals can seem like cold and scary places, so it's important that your pet is as relaxed as possible before getting in the car.
Cars make many pets uncomfortable because the only experiences they have in them are those rare trips to the vet. If you can get your pet familiarized and comfortable in the car, your trips to the vet will be less stressful for both you and your pet.
Performing these rituals regularly and from an early point in your pet's life can create calm and smooth visits to the vet's office, and help build a better relationship with your pets as well. Even if you have an older pet who only visits twice a year, make sure your trips to the vet are relaxed!