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     Taking Your Pet To The Vet  

July 2005 Newsletter

ARTICLE:

It has been requested of me to write an article on how to make it easier on pets when taking them to the veterinarian.

Let's start with this as a concept. If every time you went somewhere you were forcibly taken and then held down and had needles stuck in you, would you want to go? Would you be afraid if you saw the usual preparations going on that lead to this type of event? I would. So do our pets.

So, how to we handle this? I joke around with my clients and tell them "Take them out for icecream once in awhile." Basically the idea being, expose your pets to the activities and materials usual in a trip to a veterinarian visit in ways and times that aren't traumatic.

For example, cats love to lay in or sleep in boxes. Put the carrier out in a room and let them sniff it, go in and out of it on their own and even sleep in it. If you transport your dog in a carrier, you can do the same with them.

The next gradient might be putting them in the car in the carrier and just petting them and then taking them back inside. Then do the same, but turn the car on. This may not be so needed with dogs as they often enjoy car rides.

The next step could be go for a drive around the block and when you get back give them their favorite treat. Or you can stop somewhere and get a treat for them.

Ideally, with your veterinarians permission , of course, you would even do the next gradient of visiting the veterinarians office just to say "Hi', get a treat and some petting and go home. One clinic I worked at even encouraged people to leave their puppies there for a day of just hanging out with the staff. (Of course they had to be fully vaccinated and coordination with the staff was needed.)

You may need to do these steps multiple times before your pet is comfortable with them. Don't go to a higher gradient until a lesser one is okay.

Admittedly, this may never make it completely comfortable for your pet. And there are some that may still need other help. Sometimes sedatives are needed from your veterinarian, but I will leave that to your doctor's discretion.

Sedatives can interfere with a medical diagnosis so aren't recommended for ill patients unless the trip would be so stressful as to cause more harm than the sedative.

I hope this helps and if you have any hreat successful actions in this area, please send them to me so they can be shared.

Recommended Entertainment: The movie "Madagascar". This is a family film that is fun and uplifting with music that will stick in your mind and keep you dancing.

Product Reference: Nutricalm for dogs or cats is a mild sedative that is classified as a supplement. It helps calm a pet and take the edge off anxiety. See our Products page for price and ordering information.

Until next time,

Dr. Jan

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