VISITING THE VETERINARIAN
Starting At Home
Start by leaving the carrier out in a conspicuous area in your home so your pet can investigate it at his own pace. Having the carrier out at least a day or two beforehand is always a good idea. That way, the crate's appearance doesn't signal a trip to the veterinarian. Randomly stash treats inside the carrier for your pet to find. If you notice them inside the carrier, praise them--"Good Crate"--and reward them with treats or a special toy that your pet gets only when their inside the crate. You can also give them a nice neck massage when their inside the carrier and even give his meals inside it. When carrying your pet in the carrier, always carry with two hands from the bottom with good support and never by the handle. Pets like to feel secure and carried up high and not swinging around down low. Also, using a cover over the kennel will help fearful pets remain calm. A cover blocks visual stimuli during transportation and while the animal is in the waiting room. Limiting vision can help your pet to remain calm. These practices will help your pet associate his carrier with good things.
Keep the car's interior cool if its hot outside and warm your vehicle up before hand if its cold outside. Adopt a smooth driving style. Stay at steady speeds and avoid sharp turns or rapid stops. Always make sure the ride ends on a happy note, with a fun experience, treats or praise. If you have a small dog/cat in a small carrier, place the carrier on the floor behind the front passenger seat. Studies show that it's the safest place for your pet to be in the event of an accident. For dogs, If at all possible it's best to make at least one or two "practice" visits to the vet before your dog experiences the real thing, especially if he is fearful. Set up "victory visits". For the first one, you might simply go in to say hello to the receptionist and have your dog receive some treats. On another visit, let him explore the lobby and get a tour of an exam room--without getting put on an exam table. Check with the staff beforehand to find out what days or times tend to be quiet.
If you normally talk to your dog in the car, carry on, but if you hardly ever talk to him in the car and then suddenly switch to baby-talk during the drive, you may inadvertently send the message that something unusual or unpleasant is about to happen, which could make him fearful, anxious, or stressed. Instead, turn on the radio or carry on a normal conversation with anyone else who's in the car with you. Don't forget the value of music or music designed specifically to calm pets. Depending on your tastes--and your dog's--try Vivaldi, Mozart, harp music, Harry Connick, Jr., or show tunes. Pet-inspired music includes Songs to Make Dogs Happy, Calming Music for Pets, and Through a Dog's Ear. And remember that dogs are as individual in their musical tastes as humans. If your dog relaxes to reggae instead of calming to classical, go for it.
Arriving At The Clinic
If your pet tends to be fearful, anxious, or stressed--Consider staying in the car with them until they can go straight into the exam room. You are welcome to call the clinic and check in over the phone or walk in and check in, leaving your pet comfortably in the vehicle(if weather permitting). Roll down the windows and sit with them, listening to the radio or an audiobook, until you're called in. Give the receptionist your cell phone number for quick, easy contact or a staff member can come out and let you know we are ready for you.
If your pet isn't fearful, anxious, or stressed about visiting the veterinarian--We welcome you to walk right in but it's always a good idea to take a quick peek first just to see what other animals are there. You may want to wait outside or in the car if the lobby is crowded or noisy. Otherwise, bring your pet on in. The receptionist should greet you pleasantly and give your pet a treat.
Dogs walking in on their own should always be on leash. Keep the leash short so he/she doesn't make any unwanted approaches to other dogs, people, or cats.
Our goal is to make your pets visit a positive experience!! We enjoy putting "The treat into treatment"
Time for your pets visit---Unless your pet has a medical condition, it can be a good idea to withhold food 6 hours before the visit. This ensures that they're a little hungry when they get to the clinic and will respond more eagerly to food rewards. On the other hand, if you know that your pet gets cranky or agitated when they miss a meal, go ahead and feed them as you would normally or simply give a little less food. Don't forget to pack plenty of treats and your pets favorite toys. Bring food your pet gets only on special occasions. Feel free to hand them out liberally to help your pet associate the clinic with good things.