Strange as it may seem, many pets do love coming to the vet. Where else do you get endless treats and attention? If your dog or cat shakes uncontrollably, paces and refuses to take treats from your well-meaning vet, it is possible to make those visits enjoyable. Here are a few strategies you can use to make the whole experience more enjoyable for you and your pet.
1. If it is just a routine health check and your pet is generally pretty well, remember the power of food rewards. In order to increase that motivation for food, you could even skip the big breakfast, so your dog is a little on the hungry side for the visit. We won’t hesitate to dole out some nice healthy liver treats when you come to visit us at one of our Love That Pet campuses, but if your dog has a favourite, bring it with you.
2. If your dog starts shaking with anticipation as soon as you drive in the driveway, consider doing a few runs to the vet where nothing happens except treats in the car park or waiting room. Believe it or not there are many dogs that come bounding through the door in anticipation of treats and attention, so if your pet has a few visits where we just give treats, it can work wonders to change that frame of mind. Just let us know your pet just needs some ‘treat therapy’ and pop in anytime!
3. If your dog has a fear of other dogs, cats or noise, consider making your appointment at a quiet time. When you book in, ask when the quieter times are and schedule in an appointment when the waiting room won’t be overloaded and you can walk right in. You can also call ahead to sure the coast is clear and get your worried pooch into a spare consultation room while you wait.
4. If your pet really is a real worrier and this anxiety seems to be more than just about vet visits, consider chatting to your vet about medications such Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats. There are also tools like the Thundershirt you can try. There are many options to reduce anxiety in our pets and we are passionate about developing strategies to help them out, we also highly recommend Dr Eloise our Behavioural & Training specialist for some one-on-one training, she really ‘gets’ dogs and is very savvy with the current research.