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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lori Cavitt

De-stressing the stressful office visit

Updated: Aug 30, 2018

Does the thought of taking your pet to the vet make your blood pressure increase? Does your pet become uncontrollable outside of your home? Would you like to make your veterinary visit more comfortable for you and your pet?

Reducing stress starts before you even walk into our doors. There are many things you as an owner can do at home to reduce your pet’s anxiety as well as your own.

  • If you plan to bring your pet in a carrier, make the carrier part of their every day life. You may leave the carrier in a place they like to sleep to make them comfortable around and inside the carrier. You can also feed them or give them treats inside the carrier.

  • Frequently hold your pet. Touching their feet, ears, and tail at home will make them more accepting of a stranger doing the same things.

  • If you plan to bring your pet on a leash, make sure they are comfortable with the collar, leash, and harness before you ever leave your house.

  • You can take non-veterinary trips in your car at increasing lengths to acclimate the pet to a car trip. This also could help you as an owner identify motion sickness or car-anxiety. These can be treated with anti-nausea medications, tranquilizers, and other medications.

  • If you have financial limitations, please ask for an estimate when scheduling an appointment. For most routine visits, the receptionist can give you a range of cost to help you feel prepared. For non-routine visits, the receptionist will make a note of your concerns. During the visit, we can discuss our treatment plan with you and can adjust it as necessary.

When you bring your pet to the clinic, we do our best to make things as comfortable as possible.

  • Bring your pet to the vet for brief “just because” visits. We enjoy loving on pets and making their visits pleasant. Brief, positive interactions will make an unpleasant visit less stressful. This is especially helpful when socializing puppies. When a puppy is young, it is more accepting of new places, smells, and experiences. As a puppy grows and it becomes more suspicious of new things, it has already had pleasant experiences at the clinic.

  • If you would like assistance coming into or leaving the building, we would be more than happy to help.

  • We are flexible and try to accommodate every pet’s preferences.

We can work on the floor for larger dogs who are uncomfortable on a table.

We can use a towel to cover a patient’s face to make them feel more secure.

We encourage the use of treats to make a visit more positive.

We can perform services in many different positions, with the pet on their side, sitting, standing, or laying.

We can examine a pet inside a carrier (with the top removed).

We use and can prescribe sedative medications for extremely nervous pets.

We can take your pet to our treatment area to keep them from feeling the need to protect you.

We usually guide you directly to an exam room, eliminating the waiting room anxiety.

Unfortunately, we cannot let you hold your own pet during treatments due to liability laws, but we welcome you to talk to and comfort your pet during the visit.

Some pets enjoy lots of physical contact (petting, scratching, etc.) and some prefer not to be touched. We try to accommodate this as much as possible.

  • When a pet is injured or painful, we may recommend analgesia (pain medication) or anesthesia before examination or treatment.

  • Please ask questions if you are unsure of anything we are telling you. We want our clients to feel comfortable with any information we share as well as the treatment plan we recommend for your pet.

There are many benefits of a stress-free visit. Besides the satisfying knowledge that your pet is more comfortable, you are more relaxed and may even have a more pleasant appointment than you have ever experienced before. There are medical benefits for your pet as well. A relaxed patient’s physical exam, vital signs, and blood tests are more accurate, they require less sedation, less immune system suppression, and experience less stress-related vomiting and diarrhea.

Our goal at Henderson Animal Care Hospital is to make your visit the most pleasant possible. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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