Today we’re sharing 10 top vet Raleigh tips for a stress-free visit to your vet! It’s not uncommon for cats and dogs to be anxious about vet visits just as it’s not uncommon for humans to be anxious about visiting the doctor, but there are some things that you can do to help to relieve your pet’s anxiety.
10 Top Vet Raleigh Tips For Stress-Free Vet Visits
1. Get Your Cat Comfortable with Their Crate
One of the biggest stressors for cats when coming to the vet is the travel. Getting your cat used to their crate or carrier before traveling anywhere in it is a great way to reduce anxiety. Set your cat’s carrier or crate out with the door open and put something your cat loves inside – treats, toys, even dinner! Give them time to investigate the crate on their own without any pressure. Once your cat is used to going into the carrier it will be much less stressful for them to travel inside it!
2. Pay the Vet a Non-Veterinary Visit
If your dog gets nervous as soon as they see the vets office, make it a point to visit the vet’s clinic without any veterinary reason. Allow your dog to sniff around outside and give them plenty of praise and rewards for being “brave”. When your dog is comfortable outside, let them walk into the reception area of the vet and look around. Keep up the rewards and praise and give your dog time to investigate. Once your dog has investigated everything in the public area, take them home again. This can be a slow process, but it’s important not to force progress, let your dog take things in their own stride.
3. Take Car Rides
As you can tell by now, desensitization is a major part of reducing stress for your pet when visiting your top vet Raleigh. The same principle applies when it comes to riding in the car. If your dog or cat gets nervous as soon as they get in the car with you, make it a practice to take car rides when you aren’t headed anywhere. Use plenty of positive reinforcement and even take a few trips to pet-friendly stores where your pet can be rewarded with a new toy! This will build a positive association with car rides and the next time you head to the vet, your pet won’t be so nervous!
4. Book Your Top Vet Raleigh Appointment Strategically
If your pet is more nervous of crowds or other animals than they are of the actual vet, talk to your vet’s receptionist about the best time for booking your next appointment. Book a time during the day when the clinic is least busy to reduce your pet’s stress during their visit. You can also call your vet clinic once you are in the parking lot and see if they can let you know when a room is free so that you don’t have to wait in the waiting room at all!
5. Work on General Anxiety
If your pet gets anxious at the vet because they are just anxious overall then it’s a good excuse to start working on that behavior. An anxious pet is not a happy pet, so start working on anxiety with positive reinforcement and behavioral modification techniques. An example of positive reinforcement and behavioral modification would be our non-veterinary vet visit above. The principal aim is to take the anxiety out of a situation by making it a positive experience. If your pet is severely crippled by anxiety, it’s a better idea to consult a behavioral trainer and talk to your vet about other treatments that may be beneficial for your cat or dog.
6. Prepare Yourself
Our pets pick up on our emotions so if we get nervous about their visit to the vet, they will get nervous too! You can reduce your anxiety over vet visits by getting to know your vet. Ask questions during your vet visits, be involved in your pet’s care, and don’t be afraid to change vets if you just can’t build a relationship together. In addition to building a good relationship with your vet, knowing what to expect from a vet visit ahead of time can put your mind at ease. Here at Leesville Animal Hospital, we often write blog posts about what you should expect during vet visits to help you become more comfortable with paying us a visit.
7. Take Something Familiar
Whether you’re taking your cat or your dog to the vet, if they are anxious over their visit, it can sometimes help to take a favorite toy, blanket, or treat with you. Having this familiar object will provide comfort and help to reduce anxiety.
8. Don’t “Be Weird”
No matter what the reason for your vet visit, your pet takes a lot of their cues from your voice, actions, and behavior. The best thing that you can do for your anxious pet is to stay calm. Talk to your pet in a calm tone, don’t be overprotective or act unusually. Instead, exude confidence and act as if your vet visit is nothing more than a routine part of the day. This can be difficult if you are facing a difficult appointment, but it’s important to do your best!
9. Stay In Your Pet’s Field of Vision
If your pet is anxious during their vet visit it can help them to see you and know that you are there with them. As your pet’s parent, you give them a sense of safety, structure, and comfort, so simply seeing you (and feeling your hands on them if possible) can put them at ease.
If the reason for your vet visit is a routine checkup and your dog is a nervous pup, try to wear them out before their appointment. Don’t leave them exhausted, but give them enough exercise to leave them tired and they won’t have enough energy to be nervous during their visit, they’d rather just take a nap!
Are You Looking For a Top Vet Raleigh Trusts?
If you’re looking for a top vet Raleigh trusts with their pets, Leesville Animal Hospital can help you. We have three full-time vets on staff who are excited to welcome you and your pets to the Leesville family! Just give us a call today at (919)870-7000 to make your appointment.