At Stow Kent Animal Hospital, Portage Animal Clinic and Stow Falls Pet Clinic we strive to make visits to the veterinary hospital less stressful for pets and their family. We utilize many tools at the hospital to make these visits more pleasant for our patients. Some of the products that we have implemented include: pheromones, food, music, non slip mats, towels, Thundershirts and Calming Caps. There are things that owners can implement at home prior to coming to the vet to help contribute to happy vet visits.
It is important to remember that pets continuously learn new things about their environment and it is a team effort from the owners and the staff to make the visits less stressful for all. You can help set your pet up for success by letting the staff know the needs of your pet when you make the appointment. For example if your pet does better with all women (or men) then ask them to please schedule accordingly. If your pet does better when a doctor removes their white coat, let the staff know these details to help make the visit as comfortable as possible. If your pet has other special needs, please let us know so we can make accommodations.
We recommend that all pets that come into the office should be on a leash or secure in a carrier. Getting pets use to leashes/carriers prior to coming to the vet will make the visits less stressful on them. It is best if families work to bring a calm pet to us and not one that is already anxious and stressed out. A good example of this would be to crate train your cat to the carrier and take them on happy visits prior to coming in to the vet. This way they will be less stressed for their vet visit and also will not associate the carrier with the vet. Follow the link for more details regarding crate training cats http://info.drsophiayin.com/Portals/13722/docs/CrateCat.pdf.
We also recommend using Feliway (wipes or spray) on cat carriers prior to their trip into the hospital. We welcome you to put treats, catnip, toys and blankets that smell like home in the carrier to make them more comfortable. Cats typically do better traveling when their carriers are covered with a blanket or towel and they are unable to see out. This also helps keep them from seeing other patients in the waiting room which can reduce stress for our anxious patients. For dogs you are able to purchase Adaptil calming collars or spray which can be applied to a bandana and worn during your visit. These small gestures can go a long way!
If an owner is able and the pet does not have a medical condition, it is a good idea to restrict the pets food and treat intake prior to vet visits. This will encourage pets to be more food motivated and take rewards from the staff during their visit. If pets do not seem to enjoy our treats then it is welcomed that you bring your pets favorite food along with you! If your pet is not food motivated and prefers a life reward (a favorite toy or ball) then bring this along to encourage interaction with the staff.
If you are aware that your pet gets anxious waiting in the waiting room, then check in with the staff and opt to wait in your car or the yard until it is your turn. If your pet is already comfortable wearing a Thundershirt, it is encouraged that they wear their shirt for their vet visits. We always encourage happy visits. We love seeing your pets, so feel free to bring them by any time during normal business hours. We can feed them, interact, weigh them and make it a happy visit so they learn that the vet is not always a scary place and they learn to be comfortable here. If you have a goal that you would like to achieve, let the staff know when you arrive. For example, if you are trying to get your pet more comfortable being weighed then ask the staff to help practice getting your pet on/off the scale.
We hope that you find these tips helpful and we challenge you to try some the tips to help make you and your pet more relaxed and less fearful during visits to your veterinarian.
For more information regarding products mentioned in this blog follow the links below or contact the staff with questions!