Take the SCARE out of pet care with unspooky vet visits!
Unspooky vet visits are a high priority for us at Janesville Veterinary Clinic. No vet visit should be traumatic for our furry family members. We also can better treat the patient using fear-free techniques. High stress levels can interfere with our ability to examine a pet, obtain accurate readings, and provide treatment.
Fear-free vet experiences begin at home, before pets even pass through our doors. Here are some things you can do as a pet owner to help take the “pet” out of “petrified.”
Pull out the cat carrier several days ahead of time, and leave it open with treats inside. Or take your dog for a few car rides leading up to appointment day.
We use high-value treats, such as peanut butter and hot dogs, to reward your pets during their exam. It’s really important that your pet comes hungry to their vet visit!
Sounds can set the mood–even for pets! Consider playing classical music during the drive, and speak with a low calm voice. High-pitched praise can often increase anxiety.
If you have a really anxious pet, call us ahead of time. Pharmaceutical and nutraceutical intervention may be advised to supplement your other fear-free efforts.
Here are a few more things you can do as a pet owner to help your pet’s vet visit be as stress-free as possible.
If possible, purchase a cat carrier that opens from the top and/or has an easily removable top. This can make vet visit much less stressful, as we can examine your cat right inside his/her carrier.
Place the carrier in a central area of the home at least 3 days prior to the exam. Wipe the carrier with pheromone wipes ( Feliway) and place their bed and treats inside. Make their carrier a happy and not a scary place. This will make getting them into it a much easier process for you and them.
When driving make sure the carrier is flat. You may use towels to make sure it does not slip or tilt.
Cover the carrier to reduce stimuli.
Play calming classical music to decrease anxiety.
Speak in a low calm voice. High pitched praise or reaffirmation often increases anxiety.
When you arrive, carry the carrier with both hands like you are cradling a present. This prevents the cat from being jostled and unbalanced.
In the waiting area, cover the carrier with one of our Feliway-infused towels.
We have cat-specific rooms that are treated with pheromones to help calm your cat.
Consider using a harness or fixed length leash. This allows more control during what can be a somewhat anxious visit.
Condition them early to enjoy car rides. Start with short drives around the neighborhood. Feed treats and make it a positive experience. Add more and more time as they get used to it. If ever anxious, stop and try again another day.
On the day of the visit, feed a small meal in the morning. If they are hungry, your dog will respond better to food rewards during the vet visit.
Bring their favorite treat, kibble, or toy with them to their appointment.
During the car ride try some calming classical music. It is said to soothe even a dog’s nerves.
Speak in a low voice. High pitched praise can often increase anxiety.
If you have an anxious dog, leave them in the car and check in with the receptionist. They will advise you when an exam room is available.
If your dog is more comfortable in the waiting room, please let us know. The doctor can sometimes exam him/her out there!