Vet Visit Help
Visits to the vet can be stressful in so many ways. First there's the car ride. Although many dogs love to ride in the car, some don't and most cats don't. My cat Azul, moaned and meowed until he lost his voice on car rides! Next, there's the arrival with other nervous animals in the waiting room, and all sorts of odors -- some you can smell and others only your animals can smell. After that, there's the vet, techs, the invasive exam and potential painful treatments.
The GOOD news is that there are few great things you can do to help your beloved cope as well as possible (and you too!)
1) Rescue Remedy. I can't stress the importance of RR in supporting everyone in stressful situations. 1-2 days before, start putting 2 drops in the water bowl or food. Pet your animal with a drop on your hands before bed and spray RR in your car and the carrier before loading your companion. Keep it with you and spray it in the exam room when you arrive. It will help clear any anxiety hanging in the air from the previous patient.
2) Tell your animal where you're going. Animals don't like surprises. Visualize a positive scene as you speak and let them know what to expect. Stay calm, centered and up beat.
3) Leave the carrier or crate open and available for a few days before the visit in the main room where your animals hang out. When I do this, my cats take turns sleeping in the crate. Then, if I'm lucky, the cat that needs to go to the vet is resting peacefully in the crate when it's time to go. I close the door, letting them know what we're doing and we're off.
4) Practice riding in the car. This is a good idea to start this with young animals, especially cats, as they will not associate the car with ONLY going to the vet. Spray Rescue Remedy in the car and carrier as above and talk gently to your animal, praising her for being calm. I play classical music or sing to mine. This helps soothe us both.
5) Check out the waiting room and wait time before taking your companion into the waiting room. If it's not too hot or clod, park and check out the waiting room for other animals before you bring yours in. Ask the receptionist if the vet is on time. If your animal gets stressed waiting in the clinic, if you can, take your dog for a walk or wait in the car until it's time to go in. You might even be able to call the front desk and ask them to call or text you when the vet is ready.
6) Stay with your companion. Unless it's best for all involved for your animal to be "taken into the back," as long as you're able to stay calm while the tech or vet handles your animal, stay with them during the exam, blood draw, etc. Your animal will feel safer with you by their side.
Being present , thoughtfully preparing yourself first, and then your animal for a visit to the vet and any planned procedure, as well as using these tips, will help make the experience a lot more manageable for all. If your animal companion gets unusually stressed before a vet visit, please connect with me for some specific tools and energy work to help you both. Click here to schedule an appointment time a day that works for you.