Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Pet Tip: Going to the Vet

Okay, we can go to the vet's . . . but only if I drive!
Here are a couple of tips to help your dog or cat get used to going to the vet. We'll start with the dogs and then move on to the cats! 

I binged on treats this week.
You can help ease your dog's anxiety about visiting the vet office by making frequent visits that aren't medically related. For example, stopping by to walk around the area, say hello to staff, and then reward your dog with a treat before you leave. Another great idea is to stop by and weigh your dog on our scale. Remember to reward them each trip. Short frequent trips where nothing "bad" happens and with lots of positive reinforcement can really make the difference!  It's the most effective when you start this practice with puppies.
You can't make me go!
See, it's not so bad!
With cats, it is a little bit trickier since they tend to be more stressed out by car rides than their canine counterparts. One idea is to just leave the carrier open and out in the house for your cat to explore on their own. Put a soft blanket, some catnip, and treats in the carrier to help entice them inside. You can even leave the carrier out all the time to really downgrade its kitty cat threat level.  This may help your feline friend start to see the carrier as a safe place as opposed to a reason for them to run and hide!

What has helped your dog or cat get used to trips to the vet? Please share your suggestions with us in the comments - we would love to hear!

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