The sight of a pet carrier is a common anxiety trigger for a cat, particularly if it is only used for going to the vet where they get poked and prodded and needled! Anasazi Animal Clinic is determined to give your pet not only the best pet care services possible, but to lessen their anxiety and give them peace of mind while visiting. Regular wellness exams are important to your pet’s health, so it is good to get them used to visiting us. Let’s look at some things that can be done to ease your pet’s anxiety.
The Car Ride
Some pets really do love getting in the car, and feeling the wind in their fur. Others fight with all their might to avoid getting into a vehicle. Here are a few tips for relieving your pet’s travel anxiety:
- Allow your pet time to get used to the carrier. Spend time in and out of of it daily. If you are not using a carrier, practice walking your pet around the vehicle while soothing them, and eventually getting in and out without going anywhere.
- While riding in the vehicle, you can use music therapy to help your pet relax; there really is such a thing! There are even specifically designed music programs for your pet. Check out Through a Dog’s Ear. Or tune into your pet’s favorite radio station.
- Try an herbal calming aid.
There are several things you as the pet owner can try to help curb car anxiety. Make it a more enjoyable and pleasant ride, rather than just one that ends with a needle or something else they deem unpleasant.
The Vet’s Office
When your pet finally arrives at the clinic, there are many new sights, sounds and smells that can be distracting for them. Your pet might initially seem excited to socialize, but owners need to be cautious as other pets could be aggressive. We want to protect them while they are in our office, and be certain they leave without an unnecessary bite or scratch. While visiting your veterinarian, some tips for your pet include:
- Keep dogs and cats apart
- Use a short leash so you have good control over them
- Distract your pet with their own toys, affection or play
- Hold small pets in your lap, if possible, to keep them close and comforted.
With all the animals coming in and out, it is wise to keep your pet close. Also, keeping them close will help to decrease their anxiety and feel more reassured.
Be aware of signs of anxiety and fear besides shaking and cowering so that you can be ready to comfort your pet quickly. Other fearful behaviors include:
- Obsessive licking
- Heavy panting
- Avoiding eye contact
- Rolling over
Recognizing your pet’s fearful behaviors can help you offer them some reassurance or comfort and make your visit to the vet less stressful.
No matter how likeable we are, your pup may have some anxieties when visiting us. It is important to keep your pet calm, and the following techniques have been proven to help:
- Accompany your pet, if possible. You, as their owner, are their biggest source of comfort and reassurance.
- During procedures, it is helpful to gently hold your pet still.
- Treats are a continual benefit for behavioral discipline and can help at the vet.
- Speak in soothing tones to your pet before, during and after the examination.
The best way to get your pet acclimated to new situations is to calmly and confidently soothe them while they are adjusting to the new circumstance. Getting them comfortable in the environment will help decrease their anxiety. Anasazi Animal Clinic is dedicated to great health for your pet with the least amount of anxiety as possible. Contact us today with any questions, or to schedule a visit.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/3/2017) Dan Foy (Flickr)