For some pets, visiting the vet can be a very stressful experience due to the overload of new sounds, smells, and people. Our team endeavors to minimize stress and anxiety for your pet during the visit, as excessive stress can also lead to negative consequences for both their physical and mental health. You play an important part in this too, and this information provides tips and suggestions to prepare your pet for a clinic visit, ensuring a smoother and less anxiety-inducing experience.
- Choose the Right Carrier:
- Use carriers with removable tops or sides, making it easier to examine your pet without undue stress.
- Gradually acclimate your pet to the carrier by leaving it open at home and placing familiar bedding or treats inside.
- For more information on choosing the right carrier, read this informative blogpost written by our staff: https://singvet.sg/blogs/pet-care-resources/cat-carrier-introduction
- Familiarize Your Pet with Handling:
- Regularly handle your pet's paws, ears, and mouth at home, mimicking the examination process.
- Gradual desensitization to touch will help reduce fear and anxiety during the clinic visit.
- Acclimate to Car Rides:
- Take your pet on short car rides before the actual clinic visit to familiarize them with the experience.
- Associate car rides with positive experiences by offering treats, praise, or a favorite toy during the journey.
- Positive Reinforcement:
- Reward your pet with treats, praise, and affection for good behaviour during the visit. Try to refrain from feeding your pet a full meal before the visit, so that food treats during the consult can be implemented while your pet has some appetite.
- Encouragement and positive reinforcement can create a positive association with the clinic experience.
- Consult Your Veterinarian:
- If your pet experiences severe anxiety or stress during veterinary visits, discuss the possibility of anti-anxiety medications with your veterinarian. These medications can be helpful to lower the stress levels of animals when they visit the clinic.
By following these guidelines, you can help minimize stress and make the clinic visit a more positive experience for your pet. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to our clinic. We're here to support you and your pet every step of the way.
Demaline, B., 2018. Fear in the veterinary clinic: History and Development of the Fear Free℠ Initiative. Conspectus Borealis, 4(1), p.2.
Riemer, S., Heritier, C., Windschnurer, I., Pratsch, L., Arhant, C. and Affenzeller, N., 2021. A review on mitigating fear and aggression in dogs and cats in a veterinary setting. Animals, 11(1), p.158.
Nancy Dreschel (2010). The effects of fear and anxiety on health and lifespan in pet dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 125, 157–162.
Done by Dr. Hannah Lee