In a survey of pet owners, results indicated that the stress of taking your pet to the veterinarian’s office was a major reason for not seeking veterinary care. Your pet needs regular preventive medical care to ensure they remain in good health and have a good quality of life, so we want to do what we can to ensure they make it in to our office when the time comes for their visit. Here are some ideas to ease the process and reduce your pet’s stress when they visit us:
Introduce your pet to a crate or kennel before it comes time to use it to travel to our veterinary office. Once your pet accepts and uses the crate/kennel easily at home, it can be used to transport your pet to and from our office as well as other places they may need to go (groomers, boarders, driving on vacation, etc). The crate/kennel should bea comfortable “den” your pet feels safe in rather than something that makes them feel confined and/or stressed. Hiding places. Some pets feel more comfortable when they can hide. Provide a blanket in the crate for your pet to hide under. You can also use a blanket to cover the crate and give your pet a sense of protection.
Consider placing your pet’s crate on the floor of the front seat to provide a visual barrier as well as calming white noise from the engine running. You can also play calming music at a low volume while you drive. Safety belts specially adapted for dogs are also available. If your pet gets car sick, speak with our staff about strategies and/or medications to alleviate the symptoms. Any time your pet rides in the car, care should be taken to make sure that they are riding safely and do not interfere with driving.
A pheromone is a species-specific chemical naturally released by your cat/dog. We recommend Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) and carry these products on our online pharmacy, VetSource, which you can access on our website. These naturally occurring pheromones come in sprays and wipes, making them easy to use on your pet’s bedding, in a carrier, or on a bandanna or collar your pet can wear. We use these pheromones in our office and exam rooms to make our patients more comfortable when they come to our office. You’ll never smell the product you use, but your dog or cat will and it will help them feel better.
Call ahead to our office to find out when there is a quiet time to visit. During the visit, your pet can calmly walk around the practice and even enter the exam rooms. Our staff can spend time petting them and feeding them treats, and we can even notate their weight in their record. This positive attention and praise can build good experiences for your pet so they won’t be fearful or scared each time they come to see us. Distractions. Bring your pet’s favorite treats/toys to give them something positive to focus on during the visit. We play white noise in our reception area to calm our waiting patients and give them something else to focus their attention on.
Choose a comfortable place.
If your pet is nervous when you arrive at the veterinary practice, be sure to find a quiet seat away from other pets or ask us if you can leave them in the car or walk around for a while outside if we’re not quite ready to see them yet. For the comfort of our patients, and clients, we always try to show our patients right into an exam room when they arrive. Sometimes our patients benefit from medications/supplements to help minimize stress and/or aggression they exhibit in our office. While medications can’t be prescribed to a pet we haven’t seen within the last 12 months, once we do establish a current doctor-patient relationship by performing an examination of the pet in need, we can prescribe appropriate medications/supplements to be used in advance of their future visits with us. If you think your pet would benefit from a medication taken prior to their visits with us, please call the office and speak with our staff. There are a number of options so we’ll do our best to find the best match for your pet. We believe that taking your pet to the veterinarian’s office should be a pleasant experience, for the pet and for you. If you feel something could be done differently in our practice to make your pet more comfortable, please do not hesitate to discuss these concerns with Dr. Kittel and the rest of our staff. Here at KFVP, we want to make sure your pet’s experiences in our office are positive so we can deliver the highest quality of care. Regular visits help us ensure that our patients receive the preventative and wellness care they need to keep them happy, healthy, and living as long as possible, so don’t let the stress of getting them to our office deter you from bringing them in to see us when they need it. Remember, we’re here to help! Your friends at Kittel Family Veterinary Practice (916) 714-5387