Does your pet give you a hard time when it’s time to visit the vet? If so, it’s because pets can get anxious and take it out on their owners by scratching, biting, or worse! Instead of punishing your furry friend or avoiding the vet, you can improve their behaviors at home. Our veterinarians know this struggle and want to share three ways to help your pal overcome their fears.
Prep Before the Visit
If you struggle to get your dog or cat out of the house for appointments, then positive reinforcement at home should be done in increments.
Here are a few steps:
- Expose your pet to their carrier a few days early so they can get used to its scent and being inside.
- Make the carrier cozy with a thin blanket, treats, and toys.
- Use the same harness you use to walk your dog when taking him/her to the vet.
- Train them to shake paws for a treat so they’ll let a vet check their feet.
- Take your anxious pet on short car rides days before the actual appointment.
- Ask your vet for an early appointment if your pet gets anxious around other animals.
During and After Their Visit
While at the vet, talk to your pet in a soothing voice to make them comfortable. After the appointment, keep your pet secured in their carrier until you get home.
You should also:
- Keep your pet in one room to recuperate after a procedure.
- Make the room quiet and settle in with them occasionally to keep them comfortable.
- Feed them their medication with snacks so they’re more likely to swallow it.