What a concept! ☺ Can you imagine bringing your dog or cat to our office and them actually enjoying their visit? Many of our patients already enjoy coming to see us here at the office but we are striving to make it a more positive experience for all of our patients and we need your help! Not only is your pet’s emotional wellbeing just as important as its physical wellbeing but stress can negatively affect their physical health. Looking for signs of fear, anxiety and stress in your pet at home and when placed in different situations is important to understanding their emotional wellbeing so we can then work on decreasing these negative emotions in their everyday life as well as during their vet visits.

The first steps to making veterinary visits less stressful actually start at home. For instance acclimating your cat to the carrier – this process should start well before your trip to the clinic and we can provide advice on how to get started. Also covering the carrier with a large towel or blanket can make your cat feel more safe and less stressed while traveling and while waiting in the lobby. Another way to help us make the experience less stressful is by letting us know ahead of time if your pet is particularly fearful or anxious because we may want to provide you with a product or medication to put them at ease before you even leave your house.

Pheromones are a very useful tool to decrease stress in cats and dogs. You may notice us using spray bottles of pheromones as well as plug-in pheromone diffusers in the exam rooms. These pheromones send calming messages to your pet while they are in the office but they can also be useful if your pet is stressed at home or in the car. If your dog or cat has a favorite food – let us know so we can provide that as a special treat when they come in, or simply bring it with you to your next visit.

There is no quick and easy “fix” if you have a stressed, fearful or anxious pet but there are many ways to help reduce these emotions in your pet and we would like to help achieve this. We will be working on becoming fear free certified as a hospital and are very excited about it! We’d love to know what you think, so please let us know! 

Dr. Stefani Gagliardi