As much as veterinary teams love seeing your pets, most pets don’t love seeing them! One of the most stressful parts is just getting there. Traveling to and from the vet can be overwhelming, but there are a few things you can do to make it more enjoyable for you and your pet.
If you plan on driving or taking public transportation to the vet, make sure you get your dog accustomed to the car, bus, etc. For practice, drive around the block or to somewhere your dog enjoys. Do not have every ride be straight to the vet, or they’ll always associate your car with the vet. You can even have them jump in and out of the car while getting treats—without even going anywhere!
Carriers, Bags, and Backpacks
With small dogs who travel in carriers, leaving their carrier out in the open is helpful. This way, it isn’t a strange, scary thing that only comes out when they go to the vet. It will smell more like home than like the vet’s office. Feed your pup treats in the carrier, and even serve some of their meals in there. This will help make it a comfortable space rather than a trigger for stress.
Before Your Appointment
If you are visiting your veterinarian for the first time, there are some things you can do to help your appointment go smoothly.
- Have any previous medical history and information about your dog sent to the office before your visit.
- If your dog has any special needs or requirements for the visit, let the veterinarian’s office know beforehand, so they are ready to accommodate you and your dog. You can even let your vet know that your dog will likely be extremely anxious. The veterinary team may have some tips or leave additional time to help your dog get comfortable before starting the exam.
- Whether you are new to the clinic or a current client, it is helpful to show up a few minutes early so the staff can get everything ready for you to keep your appointment on time.
- A vet visit is a time to focus on your fur baby! While it might not always be possible, try and arrange for human childcare during the vet visit so that you can give your full attention to your dog.
- Like in a doctor’s appointment for yourself, it is important to put your phone on silent so all attention is focused on your pup and any questions that need to be addressed.
- If you went to another veterinarian (like an ER or specialist) since your last visit, have that information readily available.
- No matter how silly it may seem, if you have noticed any changes in your dog, speak up! You know your dog best. Your veterinarian and their staff want to hear what is going on at home. Now is also the time to ask all your questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question! You should never leave the vet confused.
- If you have any concerns about the recommendations given to you by the team, ask before you leave. Your veterinarian and their team’s number one goal is to keep your pet healthy and happy, so they want to make sure you are set up for success.