Tips for Taking an Anxious Pet to the Vet

Trips to the vet can be an understandable source of stress for pets. There are a lot of unusual smells, a lot of noise, other animals present and, of course, the actual examination itself, performed by a relative stranger and involving a lot of poking and prodding.

As a dog owner, there are some steps you can take to make the trip a little less stressful for your pup. Here are a few tips to help you reduce stress in your pets for vet visits in Fresno, CA.

Get some exercise before the visit

One of the best ways to keep your dog relaxed and to reduce pet anxiety at the vet is to get in plenty of exercise before the appointment. In fact, this is a great tip for managing dog behavior in general.

Exercise will increase your dog’s happiness, and by getting them nice and worn out before your trip, they’ll be much more likely to stay relaxed while at the vet. Take your dog for a long walk, go to the dog park, play fetch in the backyard or whatever your pup wants to do that you know will wear them out. It’s healthy, and it makes them happy.

Try some at-home practice

There are some types of vet-like tasks you can perform at home to get your dog used to some of the experiences they’ll have while at the vet. Practice handling their ears, looking at their teeth, holding their paws and examining their body, and get trusted friends and family members involved so the dog gets used to having many different people perform these “examinations.” This builds up the dog’s tolerance for these types of exams, and it will make trips to the vet nowhere near as scary.

Try some anxiety relievers

There are some types of products on the market that are designed to relieve anxiety in pets. These include calming collars, pheromone sprays, certain types of herbal supplements and pressure wraps, all of which can increase comfort and thus reduce anxiety. Medication should only be used as a last resort. You’re better off working on socialization than relying on medication.

Pay a visit to the vet ahead of time

If you have the opportunity, try taking your dog to the veterinarian just for a fun visit, before they have an actual checkup. This will give them an opportunity to explore the facility, meet the people who might be working with them and allow them to grow comfortable with the idea of being at the vet before an actual examination occurs. You should, of course, make sure to call ahead and plan out such a visit with the vet in advance—don’t expect to just be able to show up and walk your dog around.

Interested in more tips about how you can deal with your pet having anxiety over trips to the vet in Fresno, CA? We encourage you to contact the team at Sunnyside Pet Hospital with any questions you have. We look forward to meeting you and your pet!