Making A Vet Appointment Easier For Your Pets

First published in the

Santa Barbara News-Press

03*18*18

Maia

My animals have never had a problem going to the vet. Sure, it’s not their favorite thing to do, but they stay calm and attentive. They don’t exhibit a high-level stress by panting, barking or meowing. They don’t shake or stiffen their body. They don’t refuse to go into the vet clinic or snap or bite while we are in there.

Let’s face it, veterinary hospitals are scary places. They have a strong sterile smell. Other animals are fearful. People do things to the animals that are unnatural and against animal instincts. Without realizing it, people are exhibiting dominant, somewhat aggressive, behavior by leaning over the animals, evaluating them, staring into their eyes and palpating their abdomen. They put cold things up against their heart and make strange faces while doing it. They stick instruments in places no one wants to hear about and swab their sensitive ears. They poke animals with needles that can make the animals feel pretty yucky for some time.

So how do we make these visits better for our pets? If you have an animal that travels well, bring him or her to the vet just for a visit. Let the staff give your pet treats and a warm welcome.

You can also talk with your animal. Explain to your pet what the vet is all about. Take a breath. Clear your thoughts and explain to your pet that a visit to the vet’s office is to keep your pet healthy. Something cold held to the body is to hear the heart beat to make sure it has a healthy rhythm. A light in the eyes is to gauge the pet’s vision. A needle is to pull blood to test how all the organs are working or to administer a shot to keep the pet healthy. A needle in the bladder is to see if the pet has an infection. And so on.

If your pet is at the vet’s office because of illness, tell your pet the doctor is trying to find out why he or she is throwing up or having seizures or whatever the ailment is. Tell your animal you know that the people act strange, but it’s to help your pet live longer. Tell your animal that if there’s pain anywhere to inform the vet over and over in his or her mind and to physically exaggerate the pain to let the vet know. If you are in the examining room with your animal, you can explain what is happening and why in real time. You can do this out loud or you can do it in your head, sending it to your pet’s heart center.

Remind your animals how to calm themselves. Tell them to lick, yawn, stretch, blink their eyes. Remind them they are OK. Tell them you like your vet and you trust him or her. Remind your animal he or she will be going home with you. Whatever diagnoses or news you hear, be sure to tell your animal either at the vet’s office or when you get home. Talk to your vet about something personal. What animals do they have? What do they like to do in their free time? Make them a real person instead of someone who is just poking and prodding your animal.

Even if the visit becomes chaotic, stay positive. If you are nervous, your animal will be nervous. Sometimes your animal’s relationship to the vet office is all about your attitude. Choose a safe and confident vet and your animal will learn to deal with a visit to the office maybe even enjoy it!

 

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2 Responses to Making A Vet Appointment Easier For Your Pets

  1. hi…i can communicate with animals in unusual ways as well. i mentally had to do a visional to my dog Rocky that you can’t jump on a dog to play even with a waggind tail, that they think you want to fight. so i told him he had to sniff the dog’s butt and let them sniff his….so after two weeks of the jumping/hi i’m Rocky game..when i told him this, the next day he did the sniff plan! I even had a polar bear at the zoo put his paw over my hand on his glass wall when i was “speaking” to him. So i believe in your abilities….My problem for writing to you is with my ex..he rescued an abandoned shepherd…expecting it to be well behaved like all the dogs i raised….his dog, Boomer, is a sweet 2 yr old that was not trained at all!! NOW because he won’t listen to him..will run off…whine…esp. to play with my dog…he is giving him away. i am heart broken for him and my dog who loves him, but right now i can’t take on another dog, or i would do so. so i am working with a shepherd rescue to find someone that will be close by so he and Rocky can still be buddies…and neither dog will have lost a friend at least. but i am very concerned about Boomer loosing yet another parent…the other two were a couple that party all the time, then that broke up and left him in the house for a month with only the owner coming in once a day only. this dog is large and beautiful…and going to be heart broken to lose his daddy/my ex…any suggestions to help him?

  2. Jim says:

    I love you

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