As we educate our clients about our pet-centered practice, we will be providing a series of tips to help make your pet’s visit a pleasurable one. The idea behind a pet-centered practice is that we put your pet’s comfort and emotions first and foremost. Many owners find going to the vet a stressful endeavor, however, some simple changes can result in calmer vet visits.

Many pets find car rides stressful and often display anxious behavior due to associating car rides with visits to the veterinarian. We recommend introducing car rides between vet visits to reduce your pet’s veterinary anxiety. Here are a few helpful tricks:

  • Make sure your pet hasn’t eaten a few hours prior to taking a quick car ride. Some pets vomit due to stress and holding off on treats during these quick trips reduces the chance of a mess.
  • Make the car ride short and sweet. Start off with a quick 5 minute trip and return directly home. Once you arrive home, make sure to reward your pet with affection and treats!
  • When taking your cat for a quick car ride, make sure their carrier is as level as possible, facing the carrier forward in the rear seat. Draping the carrier with a blanket or sheet, allowing only the front area exposed, can help make your cat feel comfortable.
  • Use soothing pheromones! Spraying Feliway (for cats) or Adaptil (for dogs) on your seat cover has been shown to reduce anxiety.
  • Try increasing the duration of rides and consider making “pet friendly” stops, such as a bank drive through, as these businesses often offer treats for your four-legged fur baby.
  • Stop in for a treat! Make a quick stop at your veterinarian’s office for a treat. Familiarizing your pet with her vet’s office through frequent, quick visits will make her more comfortable with smells, sounds and staff members that she will encounter during her exams.
  • Don’t forget to relax! Pets easily sense when their owner has fear or anxiety, resulting in stress on your pet. If you approach car rides calmly, your pet will follow suit!

Taking your pet for frequent, quick drives between vet visits can make a world of difference. Your pet will learn to associate car rides with something pleasurable, rather than stressful, making your next trip to the vet a breeze! Always consult with your veterinarian prior to trying out any of these helpful tips.