Preparing For Your Appointment - Helpful Tips for Trips to the Vet


Preparing For Your Appointment

Our team at Petsville Animal Hospital is committed to helping you to make your pet’s visit as Fear Free as possible. One thing you can do is to ensure that your pet gets to the veterinary hospital in a calm state of mind. The following tips from Fear Free (Link to the Pdf) will help you and your pet arrive in one piece and in peace.

Hungry is Good

If medically appropriate, reduce the amount of food your pet eats before a veterinary visit. This can help prevent nausea with car travel as well as make the treats at the veterinary visit more appealing.

Bring Toys and a Grooming Brush

Bring some familiar items your pet likes. This will help your pet relax in the veterinary hospital. Our team may ask you to use these items to help distract your pet during the visit.

Create a Calming Pheromone Object

Towel, shirt, blanket, or bed sprayed with species-specific calming pheromones or lavender. An item that smells like home, such as a blanket your pet sleeps on or a T-shirt you’ve worn, can also provide comfort for your pet. For dogs, consider spraying a bandana with a calming pheromone and placing it on your dog’s neck. When you use pheromone sprays, allow the pheromone to dry for 10 to 15 minutes before exposing your pet to the sprayed item.

Prepare Your Pet for Travel Via Carrier, Crate, or Seatbelt Harness

Limit your pet's stress and anxiety from travel confinement.

  • Make sure your pet is comfortable with confinement for travel. Carriers for cats and small dogs or crates or seatbelt harnesses for medium-sized to large dogs are safe options for car travel.
  • Use yummy treats to condition your dog to wear a seatbelt harness.
  • Keep the carrier/crate out in commonly used areas of the house at all times and incorporate some of these techniques to create a carrier/crate oasis:
    • put your pet’s favorite toys or bedding near or in the carrier/crate; play with your pet near the carrier/crate;
    • place a pheromone-infused towel or bed or an object of clothing permeated with your scent inside the confinement area;
    • place treats, catnip (for our feline friends), or a rubber food puzzle toy with canned food inside the carrier; and feed your pet in or near the carrier/crate.
    • Let your pet enter on its own. You can teach your pet to enter the carrier/crate on cue to earn a food reinforcement or toss a treat or toy into the carrier/crate.

Additional Tips

  • Provide your pet with an opportunity to relieve themselves prior to leaving your home and again before you go into the clinic. Nothing escalates stress more than having a full bladder or colon and no access to a bathroom.
  • Budget plenty of time to avoid being rushed. If you are stressed, your pet will be too.
  • If our veterinarian has prescribed any anti-nausea or anti-anxiety supplements or medications, make sure to give them as prescribed.
  • If your pet is stressed, notify our hospital team when you arrive. Rather than bringing your pet into the veterinary hospital, call the front desk and let them know you are in the parking lot. We will call or text you when the exam room is ready.

Before your appointment, please complete the pre-visit questionnaire.