It’s normal for dogs to feel nervous when heading to the vet for a visit. Some dogs handle vet visits just fine, while others become nervous, anxious, timid, or excitable. At All Creatures Veterinary Care Center in Sewell, we focus on both the physical and emotional well-being of our four-legged patients and want their experience with us to be a positive one. That’s why we have put together a list of five simple tips dog parents can follow before a vet appointment, so that you, too, can make your furry best friend’s visit as fear- and stress-free as possible. Need to make an appointment with your Top Rated Local® veterinarian in Sewell? Call or click to schedule your pup’s next visit, and consider these tips when you bring them into our veterinary center.
Five Tips for a Stress-Free Vet Visit
Don’t Feed Them Before Their Visit
Bringing your dog into our animal hospital on an empty stomach will make them more receptive to treats. Veterinary centers often use healthy treats to help your pup follow commands when they need to be weighed, they need to sit or lie down, and other commands. This can help them feel more comfortable when they’re at the vet and when they are handled by vet techs and veterinarians. If you are not comfortable with your dog receiving treats at the vet, or your dog has any allergies, it’s best to let your veterinarian know before your visit.
Play Soothing Music
Many dogs respond well to soothing, relaxing music that can calm their nerves and anxiety, especially when played prior to a stressful event. Playing soft music or light classical such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Enya can calm your dog in a similar way that music can calm a person’s anxiety when they’re feeling stressed. In fact, there are many CDs and audio downloads created specifically for dogs. For instance, check out the compilation album, “Through a Dog’s Ear,” which features some incredibly relaxing pieces that have been shown to have a calming effect on canines. Play soothing music before leaving the house for their visit, and keep the peacefulness going on their journey to the vet center by playing these tunes in the car.
Create A Calming Space In the Car
There are a few steps you can take to make their ride to the vet a calm one, which can help with nervousness and anxiety. Here are some tips to consider:
Break the association between their travel carrier and the vet. In the days before a vet visit, leave their carrier in an accessible place in your home where they can become familiar with it. Place toys and treats in the carrier so they associate positive objects with their carrier. Take them for short rides in their carrier that end in a fun adventure, such as a trip to the park, the pet store, or to a puppy play date.
Bring a Toy or Comfort Blanket
Sometimes, bringing along their favorite toy or comfort blanket for the ride can calm their nervousness.
Dogs use their noses to sense and think. Dabbing a calming essential oil like lavender or lightly spritzing your car with an essential oil and water blend with lavender and sandalwood can create a calming effect for the ride to the vet.
Bring Your Dog in for Happy Vet Visits
Be sure to schedule fun trips to the vet in-between appointments for vaccinations, dental work, routine checkups, and other more in-depth vet visits. Taking them to the vet to get weighed, for doggie daycare, to get specialized dog food, to purchase pet health supplements, to play in the waiting room, or just to say “hello” to the vet staff will help familiarize them with the veterinary center. This can make the other visits less-stressful. Visit the vet office a few days before their exam or treatment.
Schedule a Vet Visit
When our canine patients (and any of our patients) come in for an appointment, we want to make their visit as comfortable and as stress-free as possible. Whether they’re coming in for wellness care, doggie dental care, laser therapy, pet surgery, or any of our other pet care services, following these tips can help your dog feel calmer and more relaxed prior to their arrival and during their visit. If you would like to make an appointment for your dog for one of our many pet care services, call us or arrange an appointment online. You can even request to schedule your pet during quieter times when the vet center is less busy. This can be beneficial for dogs who get nervous or excited around other pets and/or people. At All Creatures Veterinary Care Center, your pet’s emotional and physical health and well-being are our top priority.