VISITING THE VET: NIGHTMARE OR PLEASANT OUTING?

22/02/2022
Veterinary advice, Dog, Cat

How many of you have had to convince and drag your dogs to the vet because they point their paws as soon as they see where you are going? And what about all kinds of strategies to get your cats into the carrier?

Being able to turn a visit to the vet into something quite pleasant is not so far off, you just need a few tricks.

First of all, we shouldn’t go to the vet only when our dog or cat has an urgent problem, otherwise it's quite obvious that he/she will associate a negative feeling of discomfort with the visit, not to mention any procedures such as blood samples or anything else that will reinforce this perception.

In my practice, especially when visiting puppies and kittens, I used to tell the owners to come and see me at the clinic even during a walk, just to come in, maybe weigh themselves and get a treat, or even just for a caress from the vet.

In this way we can fix in the dog's and cat's mind that that place is not so bad, but that there can be pleasant and satisfying situations.

At home too, our approach to the vet's visit must be done correctly. Let's take a concrete example for the cat: if we only show the carrier when we have to go to the vet, it is quite obvious that the cat will associate this object with the vet's visit. If, on the other hand, you leave it available for your cat to use as a den, to sleep in or, if there are toys inside, to play with, it may perceive this object as something pleasant to take refuge in.

Undoubtedly, your vet also plays a fundamental role in making it a pleasant place to visit. Let's take a look at some examples of good practice that can put your four-legged friend at ease:

  • Organise appointments well so as not to keep your pet waiting too long in the waiting room, where there are many stimuli that can create anxiety and stress.
  • Divide up the space in the waiting room, dedicating one part to cats and one part to dogs: in this way, stressful situations are limited.
  • Always use pheromone diffusers (preferably of vegetable origin) in the waiting room to keep anxiety and stress situations under control
  • During the visit always respect the emotional state of your dog or cat and reward them when they behave well, after a manipulation or an examination, perhaps with a biscuit or something tasty.

These are just a few examples, but I am sure that good veterinary practice and the professionalism of my colleagues, together with your collaboration, will make the visit to the vet more pleasant for everyone.

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