dog at vet office.

If you’ve ever had to wrangle a cat that suddenly has the strength of a puma into a carrier or cleaned up after a carsick dog, then you understand how stressful vet visits can be for pets and owners alike. 

At Oroville Animal Health Center, we want all of our animal friends to stay healthy and up to date with their medical needs. If the thought of taking your dog or cat to the vet makes you cringe, try these tips for making veterinary visits less stressful for you and your pets.

Practice Joy Riding

For some pets—especially cats—the only time they’re in the car is for veterinary visits. Get your pets used to the car by letting them accompany you on short trips. Never leave a pet unattended in a parked car, and for your cat’s safety, always use a carrier. Offer your pet plenty of praise and treats at the end of your journey.

Ask for Early Morning Appointments

If you have an anxious pet that wouldn’t do well in a crowded waiting room, request the earliest appointment available, or ask if you can wait in your car with your pet until an exam room opens up.

Let Your Cat Get Acquainted with the Carrier

For many cats, the sight of the carrier sparks instant anxiety, so let your cat get accustomed to the carrier when no veterinary visit is on the horizon. Put a favorite blanket in the bottom and leave the carrier someplace where your cat can explore it. Offer your cat treats as she sniffs and investigates!

Get Those Tummies Travel-Ready

Feed your pets very little the morning of a veterinary visit. Full tummies are more susceptible to motion sickness, and slightly empty tummies will make your pets easier to motivate with treats for good behavior.

Prepare Yourself First

If you’re hungry or you didn’t sleep well the night before or you over-scheduled yourself on the day of your pet’s appointment, your cat or dog will sense your anxiety. Make sure you take good care of yourself and plan ahead so you’re not feeling stressed or rushed before your pet’s appointment. Have everything you need for the veterinary visit ready to go before corralling your pet.

Ask Us for Help

Some pets are so fearful that they make it difficult for us to complete a thorough examination. Pets this anxious may need to be prescribed a mild sedative to calm them down. It may also help to spray the cat carrier or the car interior with a calming, pheromone spray made for pets.

Pet health is extremely important, and our team is here to help make veterinary visits as stress-free as possible. Contact us for more tips on preparing your pets for vet visits and to schedule your pet’s checkup.