Vet Offers Four Tricks to Reduce Your Dog’s Stress During a Clinic Visit


Taking a pet to see the veterinarian can be stressful for the pet and for pet owners. If you only put your pet in the car to go to the vet, as soon as they get in the car they know where they are going and start freaking out. But there are some things you can do to minimize their stress, and Dr. Adam Christman shared four tips on Wednesday, June 12th.

The doctor starts by sharing his first tip: high value treats. Most of us have 'special' treats that we give our pets sparingly or on special occasions. Heading to the vet is a good time to give them one for good behavior. He also recommends using calming pheromones and shares that many vets do that as well to help calm down anxious pets. He suggests calling ahead of time to let the vet know you're there (if they know an anxious pet is coming in, they can help). The last tip is one that I think a lot of people don't normally consider: drugs (prescribed ones, of course!)

I think most people don't consider drugs as an option, or only consider them as a last resort. This is definitely something you'll want to talk to your vet about to see what would work best for your dog, as well as other options that might be available if your leery of giving your pet medication. Dr. Christman's video was helpful to a lot of people, and many thanked him for the advice, asked more questions, and shared their own tips for settling nervous pets. I liked @TerriC's unique idea, "We do fear free visits. I bring my dog in for visits and lots of treats on days we are not there for bloodwork or checkups." Genius!

Related: Frenchie Turns Into a Total Drama King During Routine Visit to the Vet

Tips For Finding the Right Vet

Commenter @Kerry shared, "My vet's office has none of that, I wish they did, and they seem to get annoyed when you ask a few questions." When I read this, the first thing that I thought was go find another vet! Unless you live somewhere where there's only one vet nearby, nothing is stopping you from finding a vet that works well with your fur baby and with you.

Shop around when looking for a vet. Stop in and meet the staff, ask questions, and check out the facility. A vet recommended by a friend may not check off all of your boxes, so it's important to visit before taking your pet for the first time. Once you've narrowed it down, ask if you can schedule time to bring your pet in with you so you can see how staff responds to your pet (and vice versa).

Another Pet Helpful article suggests looking for an experienced vet, "Ensure there is at least one doctor with long-term veteran experience (10 years or more) as well as a new vet that has graduated in the past five years. The experienced vet brings calm confidence and loads of knowledge, while the new vet brings fresh ideas and practices."

Don't wait to take your pet to the vet when they are sick or during an emergency; start with a non-invasive checkup to get your pet used to the facility and staff, and to show them that a vet visit isn't always scary. It could prove to be helpful later down the road!

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