If we learned one lesson in 2020 it is that HEALTH IS WEALTH! This sentiment extends as much to our furry family members as it does to our human ones. As we move into 2021, let’s make getting our beloved dogs and cats the care they need a little bit easier with some tips and tricks to help make your next vet trip as enjoyable as possible for all involved.

Prepare your pet’s carrier in advanced:

When planning for your vet trip, bring out your pet’s carrier at least a week before your appointment is scheduled. This allows for your animals to get used to their carrier and not see it as a sign of immediate travel and fear, but just another piece of their everyday environment they get to call their own. To help aid a pet’s trust in their carrier, be sure to leave the kennel door open or remove the top to promote your animal’s curiosity of entering and exiting. You can even lay down their favorite blanket or one of your coziest sweaters inside the carrier to help communicate to your dog or cat that this is a place of comfort. If you have a puppy or kitten, training them to sleep in their carrier or spend longer, relaxed periods of time in the carrier at a young age can be beneficial later in life. This technique will help them associate their carrier with security and safety from a young age. Keep in mind, your pet’s carrier is the most important tool when it comes to transporting them as comfortably and easily as possible.

Make sure your car is pet friendly:

The car is a scary place for many pets. It is noisy, the motion can be disorienting and for some pets, car rides can even lead to nausea and vomiting. First, be sure your car is set up correctly for your pet’s size and physical needs. If you are transporting a dog or a cat in a carrier, place the carrier on the floor of the vehicle, not on the seat. You can cover the carrier with a towel to help reduce unnerving sights and sounds and you can even spray the towel with an over the counter pheromone spray to help promote your pets calm state of mind. For larger dogs, seatbelts are a great option to help secure your pet while in the vehicle. These are especially helpful if your car won’t fit a kennel due to their size. Ensuring that your pet is secured in the vehicle, helps to maintain a safe spot in the car when in motion and ensures they remain protected throughout the entire trip. If your pet is anxious in the car, try going on short car rides more often or start off by playing with your pet in your vehicle with the engine off. Helping your pet associate happiness with your vehicle instead of fear is the whole goal.

Bring the basics:

Be sure whenever bringing your pet to the vet you come equipped with the basics. For dogs; a leash and a collar or harness and for cats; a secure carrier. Ensuring you can transport your pet safely from the vehicle into the hospital is critically important to a successful vet visit. Oftentimes, lobbies can be busy and full of pets in varying states of illness, fear and anxiety. Not being equipped with these items when transporting your pet to their appointment can lead to confusion, fights and unnecessary stress for both you and your pet.

Bring them hungry:

One of the most utilized tools at an animal hospital is treats! If you are able to bring your pet in for their appointment with an empty tummy, the yummy snacks they receive from their nurses and doctors will prove even more effective promoting the trusting and bonding relationship you want between your pet and your pet’s medical team. You can always bring along their favorite snacks to their visit if you would prefer, just be sure you ask the veterinary staff to administer the preferred treats instead of giving them yourself.

Communicate with your pet’s medical team:

We are here for you– No question is off limits when it comes to your pet’s care! If you have concerns about the car ride, your pet’s emotional state upon arrival or simply need help loading and unloading your pet from your vehicle, call your pet’s medical team. We are here to ensure your pet receives the best, fear free care possible.

Small steps make big differences and implementing just a few of these tips and tricks may vastly improve your pets next visit to the vet. Questions? Call us at 303-485-1285. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2021!