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A trip to the vet
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A trip to the vet

Here are some simple hints and tips to make the visit easier for both of you.

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A trip to the vet can be a stressful time for you and your pet. Here are some simple hints and tips to make the visit easier for both of you.

The car ride to the vet surgery

For cats, travelling is made much easier if they are comfortable with being in their carrier.  Time spent getting your cat used to their carrier is time very well spent. The key to this is not just getting the carrier out when you need to take your cat somewhere. Try feeding your cat in there from time to time and put their favourite blanket or toy in. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get them into their carrier as this will help ease both of your stress levels.

Dogs who aren't used to travelling may start to show signs of anxiety and vomiting as soon as they realise that they are about to go in the car. It is a good idea to introduce puppies to the car gradually from an early age, so they associate it with good experiences, such as walks.

Help reduce their stress

There are special sprays and collars that you can buy from the practice that emit a synthetic copy of the naturally occurring pheromones that a new mother would produce. Spraying Adaptil or Feliway in your pet’s carrier or on a blanket a few days before you visit the vet will make them feel more relaxed and less stressed. 

Ask in your local Vets4Pets practice for details.

Travel on an empty stomach

Do not feed your pet immediately before travel as this can cause travel sickness. Having an empty stomach will make them less likely to vomit. Make sure you still give them plenty of water though so that they keep hydrated. Water will also help to settle their stomach.

Visit to say hello

With dogs, you can pop into the vets just to say hello. Make the visit fun and relatively short. Give them a couple of treats in the reception area and a bit of fuss. This will help them make a positive association with the car journey and the vet.

Bring treats

Not only can treats be used to reward good behaviour they can also act as a distraction for your pet. Bring your own treats with you so that you can give out as many as needed. 

Get them used to being poked and prodded

Whilst at the vets it is likely that your pet will undergo a health assessment which generally involves an ear, eye and dental check. A daily examination of these areas at home will increase your pet’s acceptance of being poked and prodded. Remember to reward good behaviour with lots of praise and treats!