Jul 01, 2022 | By, For Pet's Sake

Best practices for taking your pet to a veterinarian

Trips to the doctor’s office aren’t usually fun. Even if it’s only for an annual checkup, your presence there is meant to potentially find things that are wrong. For pets, the veterinarian can be a similarly negative experience. It’s certainly not a “walk in the park.”

That’s why you need to make it fun and enticing for them so that they don’t dread every time you go. Try these tips before your next vet visit and see if your pet perks up a little more when their health comes into question.

Bring treats

Positive reinforcement is a very effective way to teach your pet to do or enjoy something. Reward your pet for going into the vet’s office and anytime they cooperate with the doctor. This will show your pet that, even if they’re uncomfortable for a moment, they will receive compensation for what they endure. Then in the future, they will hopefully behave better in anticipation of a treat.

Find a vet you trust

Animals appreciate familiarity and thrive under a routine. Seeing the same veterinarian each time will bring them a sense of comfort because a familiar person is handling them. Sure, some pets automatically love anything that moves, but others are more reserved in new situations, so try to find a vet you trust and stick with them for as long as possible.

Bring a leash or carrier for them in the waiting room

Humans know to grab a seat and a magazine in a busy waiting room, but pets may think it’s time to play. Obviously you don’t want your pet interacting with other sick animals, and you don’t want to be pulled all over the place until it’s your turn to see the vet. Bring something that will restrain your pet, and if you expect them to be extra excited, put on their harness so their neck doesn’t get tugged too aggressively.

Consider leaving them in the car until the doctor is ready for them

If you simply can’t get your pet to calm down, park first and check in while your pet is still in the car. If it’s going to be a long wait, sit in the car with them until it’s almost your turn.

Make it a regular part of their life

Annual checkups and vaccination boosters will keep you coming back to your vet many times during your pet’s life. Keep up with these appointments so that your pet stays healthy and becomes accustomed to going to this place like a vacation home or a friend’s house.

Your pet will usually let you know when they feel right about a situation too, so observe how they behave and adjust as necessary. Hopefully you’ll be going to the places your pet enjoys a lot more than the vet though!

Have a question about pet health? Want to become the best possible pet parent? Find helpful tips, reminders, and insight to giving your furry friend the best possible care with For Pet’s Sake! Learn more at drdevonsmith.com.