Visiting the vets comes with the territory when owning a pet, however we know that some pets really hate coming in and they feel nervous or frightened. We know it can take work to help your little ones feel at ease when they come in, with that in mind we have jotted down some tips and tricks they may help your little one feel a bit more settled with us.
Before you come in
A good way to start is by popping your pet in when they don’t need to come in, maybe call ahead to find a quiet time when your pet can just take it all the new sights and smells. We are always happy to give your little ones a fuss and a few treats (as long as you are) to help show them that it’s not all bad! This will improve at each visit meaning that when you do have to come in for some treatment it will be an environment they are familiar with, and hopefully be less stressful.
One of the things your little one may not like about visiting the vets is being handled and touched in places they aren’t used to. This can be helped by you handling them in these places long before they need to go for a check. You can easily start at home by gently touching areas such as the chest, feet, legs, ears and mouth, try touching one part at a time for a maximum of 3 seconds, giving them a treat and then let them relax before trying a different part.
Over time you may be able to leave your hand on them for up to 10 seconds, remember to always take it slow so they don’t get stressed or frightened.
REMEMBER: If at any point they seem nervous or frightened leave them be, it’s not worth stressing them out and putting yourself at risk.
In the waiting room
There are a few things you can do in the waiting room to help your pet feel more at ease, we will always try to accommodate anything you need. For dogs you can bring their favourite blanket, or soft dog bed for them to sit in, if they find it difficult to relax with other dogs around they can sit on a different side of the waiting area, or speak to a member of our team we are always happy to pop you into a spare room (as long as we have one) we are also happy to come out to you in the car park if your little one really is nervous of coming in.
For cats it is much the same you are always welcome to bring their favourite things with them, whatever helps to calm them, we have cat covers in reception to help keep them calm, again if you cat seems to be distressed speak to a member of the team who will try and find an alternative quiet place for you to wait.
When coming into the consulting room you as the owner are the voice of your pet, if you are worried at any point, or you are able to tell that your little one is distressed then please do not be afraid to point out to the vet that it is not normal for them and they are stressed. We all want what is best for your pet and them being stressed doesn’t help anyone. Being aware of the different ways your pet communicates will make the visit better for them and less stressful, in turn this means you will be more relaxed too.