5 Tips for Better Vet Visits [Pet Expert]

5 tips for Better Vet Visits for everyone!

Working at a veterinary clinic I saw many cats who did not want to be at the office and heard too many stories from owners of how much of a fight it was to just get the cat in the carrier.  Taking our cats to the vet is something that people loathe doing because its such a hassle so often times people only take them in when there is a serious issue.

Cats are missing their regular check-ups because the pet parents do not want to fight them and that can cause medical issues to be missed early on or even prevented.  There are ways to make vet visits easier for everyone and that starts right at home.

  1. Don’t just bring out the carrier when its time to go to the vet. Typically, a cats carrier lives in the closet or garage and comes out minutes before you are ready to leave for the vet clinic.  This is a big mistake that pet parents make because the cat has only associated that carrier with the terrifying place that they are about to head off to.  Instead, leave the carrier out and allow the cat to get comfortable with it and even use it as an extra bed
  2. To build up the positive association, even more, you can use feeding time and treats near and in the carrier to make it a good place to be.
    Use Feliway. Feliway mimics natural feline facial pheromones which can help to calm your cat.  You can spray Feliway inside the carrier and even ask your veterinarian if they have a Feliway diffuer in their cat room and/or can spray it on their exam table.  You can purchase Feliway here
  3.  Visit a Fear Free vet clinic. Veterinary professionals that are Fear Free certified have gone above and beyond to make the clinic experience comfortable for all pets.  They reduce stress as much as possible in pets by doing a few simple things that you may not see in many practices such as using non slip mats on their exam tables, using low-stress handling techniques, using pheromones in their lobby and exam rooms, ushering pets into exam rooms as quickly as possible to reduce any possible confrontations with other animals in the waiting room, and so much more! Fear Free is a newer movement in the veterinary world and if you vet clinic isn’t on board yet ask them if they have heard of the program and would be willing to implement some techniques to make the visits more comfortable for your cat.  You can learn more about the Fear Free mission at https://fearfreepets.com/
  4. Handle your cat at home. Use positive reinforcement to reward you cat while at home for being handled like she would be a the vet clinic.  Rubbing her paws, touching her mouth and ears, and handling her all over will help to make being handled at the vet a less terrifying experience. Remember to pair the handling with a reward to make it an experience she learns to enjoy.
  5. Go to the vet on a regular basis. Having positive experiences at the vet will help your cat to learn that the clinic is a pretty great place to go! Regular vet visits can also prevent and help to detect illness and diseases early on which will keep your cat happy and healthy for many years to come!

If you need any more tips on how to make a visit to the vet easier for your cat please reach out for a phone consultation!  I am also happy to speak with you or your veterinarian about the Fear Free initiative if you would like more information.

22 thoughts on “5 Tips for Better Vet Visits [Pet Expert]

  1. Thank you for all the tips on how to have better vet visits! My cat hates going to the vet and I have been wondering what I can do to help. I really like your tip about handling my cat at home, like a vet would. I think that would be really helpful for them to get used to what will happen at the vet.

  2. I like that you mentioned not using your pet carrier to just take them to the vet. This can cause a lot of stress on your pet when this is what they come to expect when they are put in it. I never thought of this correlation. My wife and I will be sure and keep the vet visits as relaxed as possible.

  3. Thanks for all of the information you included here on how to have a better visit with the vet. As you talked about, visiting a fear-free vet clinic is the way to go since they will be better at working with you and your animal. My dog, Rosco, needs to go in for a regular check-up, and I will make sure that he is comfortable. Thanks again!

  4. I really like the idea of making the vet clinic experience comfortable for all pets. My cat is always scared to go to the vet and I have been looking into choosing a clinic that will help her feel more at ease. What you said about using non-slip mats on examining tables and pheromones to comfort and reduce stress on the animal was very interesting to me!

  5. Indeed, a lot of people don’t want to bother trying to get their cats to the vet for check ups. Just because an animal looks or acts fine doesn’t mean it is. Using the cat carrier as a normal cat bed is a smart idea. My cat loves to sleep in his carrier, this makes it easy to get him out the door when I need to take him in.

  6. I just wanted to thank you for going over some tips to use when you are taking a pet to the vet. It’s good to know that there are clinics that are Fear Free certified and try to do their best to make sure a pet is comfortable. This seems like it could be really important to look for if you have a very anxious pet.

  7. I like the idea of building positive association with the vet. I know a lot of pets can have anxiety and fear when going to the vet. Treats can always help with that! I’ve been thinking about getting a dog soon, so this will be good to remember.

  8. I love the idea of taking your pet to a fear-free clinic. My sister just adopted a pet dog that they love. They’re not sure how often and when to take them to a vet or a clinic. I’ll have to recommend that they find a place that works hard to keep their pet calm and fear-free as much as possible.

  9. I’ve been having a really hard time with my cat’s recent illness. She just is terrified anytime I bring out the carrier. I should really try a “Fear Free” clinic and see if she reacts better. Thanks for this info!

  10. Thank you for the tips on how we can have a better pet visit, especially when you mentioned that we should visit a Fear Free vet clinic. I am surprised to learn that such movement exists and that they try their best to reduce the stress level of the pet with the use of simple techniques such as non-slip mats on the examination tables, pheromones in the lobby, and low-stress handling techniques. I just adopted a cat from my cousin and would want its first visit with the vet to be as smooth as possible. I will definitely ask the recommendation of other pet owners when it comes to the clinic that I should visit.

  11. I like the tips you mention about getting the cat comfortable with the carrier by leaving it out and putting treats inside. That’s a really good point because my cat really doesn’t like being put into small spaces like that. I also like how you mention cats missing their regular check-ups. It’s true and I need to do that more regularly and look into getting a good vet. Thanks for the useful tips!

  12. I like the idea to feed your pet near a carrier when trying to get a pet used to going to the vet. My cat is very hard to wrangle, but he responds well to treats. Taking my pet to the vet is something I really need to do, so I’ll follow your advice about making a trip to the vet more manageable.

  13. My favorite tip you mentioned for helping your cat when visiting the vet was to leave the pet carrier out for your cat to get used to. This would be helpful for my cat since he is usually gets pretty nervous around strangers. Getting him used to the pet carrier would definitely help relax him so he doesn’t get as anxious when seeing the vet.

  14. Thanks for the tip about considering how often you go to the vet. Finding a vet that you can visit on a regular basis is a really great piece of advice. My husband and I are looking for a vet, so we’ll have to consider how often we can visit them.

  15. My favorite part of this article is your tip on the carrier. I absolutely agree that the cat shouldn’t be treating its carrier as a cage or pen but as a comfortable place to stay with. In that way, whenever the pet goes, it will not panic and rest on it instead.

  16. It’s good to know how to take our cat to a vet. I like how you said that we need to bring the carrier out more often than just these visits. I want my cat to enjoy the vet, but if nothing else, she can enjoy the trip there!

  17. We recently received a puppy from one of our family friends. It is still a puppy, so we haven’t taken it to the vet yet. We want to make sure that the puppy will grow healthy, so we are aware that taking it to the veterinarians is essential. To have a successful vet visit, I like that you suggested using the feeding time and treats to create a positive experience for the animal. Thanks!

  18. Recently my family has moved and we wanted to find the right place for our pets. I really liked how this talked about building up a positive association by making feeding time and treats near and in the carrier to make it a good place to be. This would be very helpful to make the trip to the vet a lot less painful.

  19. That’s interesting that you by handling your cat and touching their ears, mouth, and all over will help them feel better when handled by a vet, especially if they are given treats. I just got a kitten Calico this past week so I wanted to figure out how to get her prepared to go to the vet. I’ll have to find a veterinary clinic that gives the pets a lot of treats so she’ll receive the same treatment there that she will at home.

  20. Thanks for listing down these tips that can help furparents like me to prepare our cats for a vet visit. My favorite part is when you suggested giving them rewards when they behave properly during times that you are trying to imitate the way the vet will handle them in the clinic. We need to take our cat to the vet because it hasn’t been eating properly these past few days. We are getting worried because you can notice that it is already getting malnourished. Thanks!

  21. I really appreciated the tip on finding a veterinarian that practices Fear Free practices, especially the one about reducing other pet interactions in the waiting room. I have a very small dog that is scared of big dogs, and my wife and I always dread taking him to the vet. I will be sure to find a veterinarian that practices a Fear Free environment in their clinic.

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