A visit to the veterinarian's office is a great way to keep your pet happy and healthy. Routine check-ups, vaccinations and health exams are all part of having an animal. Yet, a trip to the vet can be stressful for both you and your pet. Your dog might not be used to being around other animals and your cat likely hates being put in her crate. Not to mention, the office waiting room and exam rooms are very unfamiliar to your pet, which can make them anxious.
To ensure your visit is as efficient and informative as possible, it's important to prepare in advance. It's also vital you make the most of your time with the vet so, when you leave, you'll know exactly what to do next. Here are a few ways to make your vet visit a positive experience for everyone involved.
1. Write Down Questions
Before hopping in the car with your pet, write down all concerns or questions you may have for the vet. Why is the dog limping? Are cats supposed to sleep so much? Why won't Abby eat her food? Notes will help you remember what you want to ask, especially in the hustle and bustle of getting your pet to the office.
It's easy to forget why you even came to the vet when your dog is barking at everyone or your cat won't stop scratching at her crate. The waiting room can be a place of anxiety for both you and your animal. So, it's best to make notes before leaving the house to ensure you don't forget to ask the important questions.
2. Take a Leash or Crate
No matter how well-behaved your pet is, a visit to the vet may frighten them. After all, it's not an environment they are accustomed to and there's sure to be new furry faces in the waiting room. So, secure your pup or kitty with a leash or crate to protect them and other animals.
Once you make it into a private examination room, feel free to uncrate your cat or unleash your dog. Give them reassuring cuddles and try to distract them with a toy. After the exam is complete, put them back in the crate or on their leash to ensure a safe exit from the building.
3. Bring Comfort Items
In addition to toys to distract your pet, you should also consider bringing comfort items to make them feel secure and relieve anxiety. Make a blanket bed inside your cat's crate and place their favorite stuffed animal inside so they have something familiar to calm their nerves. You might also bring a towel to keep them warm on the examination table.
For your dog, choose items he plays with the most and bring them along. Dog beds are a little too cumbersome to bring to the office, especially if you own a large breed. But, just as with cats, you could bring a towel or blanket to wrap them up in. A weighted doggy jacket might also bring them comfort and make them feel safe in unfamiliar territory.
4. Be Honest
If you accidentally left out m&ms and your dog helped himself to the stash, tell your vet. Even if you're embarrassed by your mistake, being honest with your vet will assure your animal is healthy and safe. Likewise, if your cat has been throwing up a lot and you think she may have eaten a hair tie or piece of jewelry, communicate this to your vet.
It's always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your beloved animal. Do your part in keeping them safe by fostering an open, honest relationship with the vet.
You took notes before your visit, and you can take more now to help you remember advice or specific instructions. Writing important information down may save you an extra trip to the vet in the future and help you care for your pet the best you can.
So, pay close attention to what your vet tells you. They went through years of schooling and see animals just like yours every single day. Therefore, their advice is likely reliable and insightful.
6. Reward With Treats
A trip to the vet can be stressful for everyone, especially if your pet is sick or injured. So, remember to reward your pooch or kitten with special treats during and after the visit.
Keeping treats on hand while in the exam room will motivate your animal to behave and remain calm. And, treats afterward will reaffirm a job well done. Moreover, they may be more willing to head to their next appointment if they know special kibble and toys are involved.
Keeping Your Pet Happy and Healthy
Remember, it's your responsibility to ensure your pet gets the best care possible, and that means regular visits to the vet. As an owner, it may not always be easy to determine when your pet is sick or injured. But a vet can see things you may have never even noticed or thought about.
Whether it's a bacterial infection, periodontal disease or deteriorating hips, visiting the vet on a regular basis will help detect problems and disease early on. This way, your pet can receive early treatment and live the longest, happiest life possible.