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Start your pet’s next visit to the veterinarian
on the right foot with a fun,
stress-free trip from home to the hospital.
A pet that arrives in the exam room happy
and relaxed is the perfect patient.
An accurate physical exam is the most
important part of the visit and is easily
done on a co-operative patient. Even
tasks like nail trimming and vaccinations
are less uncomfortable for a relaxed pet.
Cats are home-bodies and can be
especially stressed by the trip to the veterinarian,
starting with the dreaded cat
carrier. Try to make your cat view the
carrier as an interesting playscape, even
a place of security by bringing it into the
house a week before the appointment.
Put your cat’s favorite bed, blanket, toys
and treats in the carrier. You can even
feed your cat in the carrier. Spraying
the carrier with commercial pheromone
products can help make the carrier more
appealing. Cover the carrier with a towel
when you leave the house. Your cat will
appreciate the security of the darkened
space during the car ride. On arrival at
the hospital try to avoid a busy dog-filled
waiting room by leaving your cat in
the car or being escorted directly to the
exam room. Some cats enjoy exploring
the exam room for a few minutes before
their exam. Bring their favorite treat and
a toy to help your cat maintain a positive
attitude in this challenging environment.
Dogs generally enjoy their car ride
more than cats. Safe restraint in a car is
critical as unrestrained dogs can distract
drivers and suffer severe injury in an
accident. You can use a dog crate, a harness
that is secured by the seat belt or a
divider that keeps your dog in a confined
area in the car.
Dogs can experience car sickness too.
If acclimating your dog by taking him/
her on short trips in the car hasn’t helped,
there are good medications that can
control nausea brought on by motion.
Traveling on an empty stomach may
On arrival at the hospital keep your dog
under good control with a short leash
and a gentle-leader collar. If your dog
feels intimidated or anxious by the sight
and sounds of the busy parking area and
waiting room, leave your dog in the car
until he/she can be moved directly into
an exam room. Once in the exam room
pull out your bag of the dog’s favorite
treats and let him/her dig in. Skipping
a meal prior to the appointment will
make these treats even more delicious! A
favorite toy can also change their mental
state from worried to playful. Allow your
dog a few minutes to explore the exam
room and relax.
Your pets are now calm and happy,
setting the stage for a rewarding and fun
visit with your veterinarian.
Dr. John Violette, DVM