Owning a pet is one of the greatest joys anyone could have. Pets provide their owners with unconditional love and emotional support, and in return, their parents should do their best to take care of them properly so they can live a long and healthy life.
One way of doing so is to take your four-legged animal to the vet regularly. Through various examinations and wellness checkups, vets will be able to ensure the health of your furball and identify small problems before they become serious ones.
Unfortunately, these vet visits can be stressful both for you and your pet. They can trigger a wide range of responses and have an impact on your animal’s attitude, increasing their stress levels every time they go to receive medical care.
Luckily, there are some tricks you can try to reduce your pet’s anxiety levels and make going to the vet a great experience for everyone.
Familiarize your pet with the vet
One useful trick is to familiarize your pet with their vet before an appointment. You should take them to the clinic a few times to get them acquainted with the environment and meet with the people who work there. The more you do this, the less likely your furball will associate the veterinary clinic with fear and pain.
Just make sure you call your vet in advance to check whether you can come in. If it’s a busy time, you may be asked to schedule a vet appointment online so you can see their availability and book a time that suits everyone.
Train your pet for vet visits at a young age
Training your pet with proper obedience tricks when they are young can certainly go a long way for making vet visits less stressful. Some basic tricks include training them to sit until they are told to move, watching you while the vet does their work, and touching what you want them to so they can keep engaged during an exam.
Also, don’t forget to socialize them from a young age so they can build confidence and become more comfortable with new people. The more you expose your pet to different surroundings, the less afraid they will be as they grow.
Get your pet used to handling
Some pets, especially cats, find it stressful to be handled. They may like your belly rubs, but they can still get anxious when handled by their vet. Therefore, getting your furball used to being leaned over, held onto, and picked up can certainly help make vet visits more enjoyable.
Start by talking softly to your pet and slowly begin to explore different types of handlings.
For example, you can gently stroke and pet their head all the way down to their back. Then, gently hold their paws and spread them as you would when clipping the nails so they can get used to this touch.
Bring your pet’s favorite toy or blanket
When you take your furry animal to the vet for a regular checkup or for treatment for an illness, make sure you bring along their favorite toy or blanket to help them feel more secure and relaxed. Having such a familiar object around can bring happy memories and associations to the animal, reducing their stress levels while undergoing an examination.
Also, don’t forget to bring their favorite treats to reward them for behaving well. Treating your pet after a vet visit may actually help them realize that these visits don’t have to be scary or stressful.
Probably the most important thing you should practice every time you go to the vet is to keep calm. The truth is your pet can sense your emotions very well, so if you are feeling uneasy, the chances are your buddy will pick up on it. Therefore, make sure you remain calm at all times and act like the visit is just a normal part of the day.
Make sure you speak to your pet in a reassuring voice and keep things simple and cheerful as that should also help relieve some of their anxiety about the visit.
Going to the vet is a regular responsibility for pet owners and it is important that you make your furry animal as comfortable as possible for each visit. Whether it is an annual wellness checkup to ensure the wellbeing of your pet or special treatment for an illness, domestic animals may associate vet visits with discomfort and pain, increasing their stress levels.
Fortunately, this can quickly be resolved by employing a few tricks which can help alleviate anxiety in pets and make veterinary appointments less overwhelming for everyone.