How to Make Your Pets’ Vet Visit Smooth/Comfortable with Dr. Joel B. Akin
A visit to the vet can be a harrowing situation for any pet, especially those which have yet to make the trip. Add the fact that your pet may be sick or dealing with an injury on top of that and you have the makings of a very stressful encounter.
That stress and anxiety is often taken out on the vets themselves says Dr. Joel B Akin, an Arlington, Texas-based veterinarian who has spent the past three decades caring for all manner of animals.
While vets are adept at soothing and handling animals, Dr. Akin says pet owners can do a few different things to improve the experience for all involved.
Get Your Pets Used to Being Transported in Carriers
This is especially true for cats but can also apply to small dogs says Dr. Joel B Akin. If your pet isn’t used to being confined within a carrier and transported by vehicle, that alone can be quite stress-inducing, putting them in an agitated state before they’ve even arrived at the vet’s office. By conditioning them ahead of time with car trips via carrier, your pets won’t be in a heightened state of tension upon reaching your destination.
Try Using a Pheromone Spray or Similar Product
Various pheromone-based products such as sprays, collars, and atomizers have been created for both cats and dogs which soothe them through the release of familiar and comforting scents. Dr. Joel B Akin says these sprays are safe to be used directly within carriers or on bedding, though they should never be used directly on the pet.
Dr. Akin adds that pheromone sprays with aggressive scents can also be useful for deterring scratching and other unwanted behavior in your pets through spraying it on furniture or other items.
Be A Vocal Champion for Your Pet
Dr. Akin says that more than anything, pet owners themselves can soothe their pets throughout even the most challenging visits by way of their comforting voice and touch. Having constant reinforcement from the person(s) they trust the most which emphasizes that they approve of what is happening and that it’s for the best can help calm even the most nervous animal.
Bring Some Favorite Items from Home Along for the Visit
Few things help calm a pet during a vet visit like the presence of some of their favorite items, be it a toy, some treats, or their favorite blanket or bed. While being poked and prodded by a stranger is never fun, especially when you aren’t entirely sure why it’s happening, those familiar and cherished items will make it far more bearable, reminding your pet of home and happy times. This is particularly important during overnight stays, when your pet won’t have you around at all times to help comfort them.
Question Your Vet on Their Practices
Lastly, Dr. Akin says you shouldn’t be afraid to question how your vet operates and to make suggestions for how they could improve the experience for your pet. Controlling odors that could agitate your pet and limiting the visible presence of resident animals are just some of the ways that vets can better manage their environment to cater to nervous pets.