Watch the movie and you'll see: our Prins-dogs Lappi and Pete love the vet. But did you know that a lot of dogs and cats are afraid of the vet? You can do something about that!
Afraid of the vet? No need to!
The numbers are quite shocking: research shows that less than half of all dogs enter the vet practice relaxed. 13 percent of our four-legged friends even have to be carried inside or pulled! More than 75 percent of the dogs are scared on the treatment table. For cats this stress ratio appears to be even worse.
Practicing at home
You can make your animal less afraid of the vet by preparing your dog or cat well for the visit. It’s recommended to start on time with that. Don't wait until your animal has a painful inflammation! Practice regularly at home lifting and grasping your animal. For example, lift it up and off the table and look at its ears, feet, tail and teeth while giving it a treat. Mention what you do: 'on the table', for example, or 'well done, I will take a look in your ear', so that your animal knows what action is going to be taken.
Research shows that even stepping on the scales at the vet's is quite stressful and not as easy as it might seem. Teach your animal at home to get on and off the scale somewhere. For example, use a low elevation, such as a sofa cushion that you put on the floor. Lure your animal on the elevation with a treat and name and reward that.
First go to the vet a few times without anything having to be done. Just to say 'hello' and to score a nice cookie or kibble. This way your animal gets used to the sounds and, not to forget, the smell of the practice. Veterinary practice employees like to participate in that! Many veterinarians perform special puppy and kitten checks, where they regularly check young animals during their first year of life without anything nasty happening. Animals who come to these check-ups are almost never afraid, but are relaxed and cheerful.
Wait a moment...
You can prevent a lot of stress by not having your dog wait in the waiting room, but for example outside at the vet's practice. Ask the assistant to come and call you when it's your turn. Cats experience a lot less stress if they can wait in a separate room without dogs. Some veterinarians have a waiting room with a special 'cat park' where animals can stand higher and therefore quieter, without curious dogs being able to look inside through the transport basket.
Use a Prins Train & Care reward cream for dogs and Play & Care for cats to distract your animal if the vet is going to examine or handle your animal. Licked delicacies from a tube have a relaxing effect. For cats you can also use a little reward cream on the (clean) treatment table as a distraction, for dogs a nice lick on their front leg. The tube is an ideal helper when the veterinarian is taking your animals temperature, cutting nails or giving medication. You can also use it to teach your cat to go to the vet in a cat carrier! Watch this movie to see how it works.