Reducing vet visit stress

Is this how your pet feels about seeing the vet?

Some dogs and cats experience significant stress visiting the vet, and there are a few things we can do to help them out. 

At home before the visit:

Let your cat use their carrier as a rest spot. Leave it open in the area they normally relax, and cover the top with a towel if your cat prefers to hide out. You can use pheromones (feliway spray), catnip and treats to entice your cat to use the carrier and feel relaxed in there. Do this for several weeks leading up to their visit. 

It can help to pay attention to what upsets your pet, but it is also very helpful to know what they love. What are their favourite treats? We love to offer treats to pets for their examinations to create a positive connection with the visit. This effect is even greater if you can bring them in hungry, with their favourite treats. 

Sometimes medications can help if your pet is very anxious to travel, to visit the vet or both. Talk to your vet about prescribing medication to help reduce anxiety. 

At the clinic:

Arrive as close as possible to your appointment time to reduce the chances of spending much time in the reception area. Other pets and other people can sometimes increase your pets' stress. 

If your cat likes its carrier with a towel over feel free to bring them in with the towel, pheromones and catnip and bring their favourite treats along. 

Sedation during the visit will often be very helpful to your pet and yourself, allowing the vet the best possible chance to examine your pet without causing them undue stress and increasing their anxiety for the next visit. We have very safe, modern sedation protocols and the risk to your pet from a sedation is minimal. 

In between visits:

Feel free to bring your pet around for 'happy visits' any time you like. We are more than happy to lavish attention (if your pet likes that) and give them treats, to help them learn that the clinic is a lovely place to be!

We are committed not only to your pets medical wellbeing but also their emotional wellbeing, and it is a great service to you and your pet to reduce any stress they might feel about visiting us, allowing us to take better care of their health overall.