Ways to Help Reduce Pet Stress at the Vet
Nashville/Brentwood pet owners – Regular vet appointments are important for pets to live long, healthy & happy lives! We recommend all pets, even indoor and pets that appear healthy, have two exams each year to help identify problems early.
Going to the veterinarian can be stressful on your pets (and you). As well, boarding your pets while you travel can cause anxiety with unfamiliar sights, sound and smells.
Here are tips to help make your next visit to the vet easier on you and your pet:
- Crate/Carrier – Introduce your pet to a crate before it comes time to travel to the vet.
- Bring the crate out ahead of time to become accustomed to it. Leave the door of the open so they can explore as they please and give treats.
- Go on fun rides and reward with treats during and after.
- Consider stress-reducing products in or around the carrier (see below for our recommendations).
- Hiding places – Pets might feel safer when they can hide. Provide a blanket to hide under or cover the crate to give your pet a sense of protection.
- Consider stress-reducing products on the blankets (see below for our recommendations).
- Car rides – Place crate in the floor of the front seat to provide a visual barrier as well as calming white noise from the engine.
- Safety belts specially adapted for dogs are available.
- Ask us about strategies to alleviate car sickness is needed.
- Practice sessions – Call our vet clinic to find out when there is a quiet time to visit.
- Your pet can calmly walk around the building. Use treats and praise as you tour around.
- Distractions – Bring favorite treats/toys for reassurance.
- Come hungry – Pets will be more receptive to treats given at our vet clinic if hungry.
Products such as Solliquin, Zylkene, Feliway and Adaptil can help during these and other stressful situations (such as storms, fireworks or visitors to your home).
- Solliquin is a supplement given as a chew (to cats & dogs) or tablet (large dogs) that contains amino acids found in green tea. Solliquin helps create a sense of mental calmness and relaxation to reduce your pet's stress.
- Zylkene is a supplement derived from casein (a protein in milk) that can be given to cats or dogs as a capsule or mixed with water before or during the stressful period. Zylkene helps increase their ability to cope with change and can reduce their coping mechanisms.
- Feliway (used throughout our facility) is a synthetic feline pheromone that mimics a cat’s natural pheromone used to mark their territory as safe and secure. Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security to help comfort cats. Multiple products are available including carrier wipes, diffusers and sprays. Get tips on traveling with cats from Feliway…
- Adaptil (used throughout our facility) is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the pheromone mother dogs emit after giving birth to help their puppies feel calm and secure. Dogs of all ages recognize this pheromone which reduces stress and stress-related behaviors. Multiple products are available including collars, diffusers and sprays. Get tips for traveling with dogs from Adaptil…
Pick up these products at your next appointment or purchase from our online store.
Southside Animal Hospital has feline-friendly practices to help our cat patients feel secure.