How to make vet visits fun for your pets - Hindustan Times
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How to make vet visits fun for your pets

By | Edited by Parmita Uniyal
Feb 07, 2023 02:27 PM IST

Pets can get nervous due to the various elements that a vet visit presents. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your pet’s vet visit is a happy one.

A good vet visit is one where your pet is happy, and at ease to be examined. Most of the times it is advisable for pet parents to condition their pet at a puppy or kitten stage, so that their visit to the vet is a comfortable one. But even then there can be cases where your pet can get extremely upset or anxious when visiting a vet. Pets can get nervous due to the various elements that a vet visit presents like tiring car rides, new smells, anxious pets, unfamiliar people, body handling, needles etc. and should be comforted to make their visit less traumatic one. (Also read: Pet care: Importance of regular vet visits for your pet's health)

Pets can get nervous due to the various elements that a vet visit presents like tiring car rides, new smells, anxious pets, unfamiliar people, body handling, needles etc. (Pexels)
Pets can get nervous due to the various elements that a vet visit presents like tiring car rides, new smells, anxious pets, unfamiliar people, body handling, needles etc. (Pexels)

Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your pet’s vet visit is a happy one.

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Make the car trips fun

Unfortunately, even as pet parents, we are unable to realise how animals store information. If you only use a car ride as a means to reach the vet, eventually your pet will start getting anxious as soon as they enter the car. One of the simplest things to do, in order to have a positive reinforcement is to make car rides fun. Start with small trips to a pet-friendly location or a park, and let your dog enjoy the experience. Treat your dog when they get into the car and get out without a fuss. This is to ensure that your dog does not make the association that a car ride always means a trip to the vet. Over a period of time, use this technique to take your dog to the vet. This way they will not be anxious or uncomfortable even when entering the car.

Finding the right veterinarian

Finding the right veterinarian is by far the most difficult aspect of your pet’s comfort. However, if you are vigilant enough and keen to understand your pet’s body language, you will know how the vet and their staff is treating your pet. Does your pet love interacting with the vet? Do they seem cheerful and contended around the vet’s staff? Or does your dog shrink in the corner when they see the vet or the staff? If the last observation is yes, then it is perhaps time to look for a new vet.

Buy a nice mat for your dog

If there is a mat or a light blanket that you have, use it to handle your dog. This will give them a sense of comfort and also prevent them from slipping on a tile or a metal examination table. We always carry a bedsheet with us during vet visits so that our dogs, especially the ones who have come from the shelter to ensure that they have a sense of home and comfort.

Make them use to restraint

This is a tricky one. Dogs get extremely stressed when someone is trying to forcibly hold them down. It is advisable to practice a vet hold and teach your pet to stay as still as possible during an examination. A common way for a vet to examine is to ensure that the dog is lying down and then to lean over with one arm on its shoulder and the other around its neck. Of course, there will be more techniques to examine a pet but the general idea is to make the pet used to being handled.

Treats and toys can save the day

You cannot ever have enough treats and toys! Whenever you take your pets to the vet make sure you bring along loads of treats and toys for them. If your dog is being a good pet, be generous in your rewards. Your dog’s favourite treat and game can in fact help a vet reduce stress and positively impact their relationship. It can help form a bond and build long lasting trust that can work for both your vet and your pet.

Keep yourself calm and relaxed

Last but not the least, keep yourself relaxed. Not only can your dog can sense your anxiety, fear and stress, it can in fact lead to an increase in their own stress levels. Also, no screaming and shouting. Please understand that your pet is dealing with a lot when at the vet, given their acute sense of smell, observation and instinct, and any sort of trigger will not be good for them. There have been stories of pets running away from vet clinics because of fear, so it is advisable to not be anxious and handle any situation with calmness.

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