Having a sick pet is never fun, but having to take it to the vet adds to the stress, however necessary it might be. It’s stressful for you, and could be really distressing for your pet!
When the time comes, though, you need to be ready to get your pet to the expert help it needs so today we’re taking a look at how you can get yours to the vet’s practice with the minimum of stress and upset.
Know Where You’re Going
The time to google “veterinarian near me” is not minutes before you leave the house! Finding a vet and registering should be one of the first things you do when you get a new pet. This means that if it does get sick or suffer an accident, you know exactly where you’re going, and the vet has already had a chance to get to know your pet under normal circumstances!
Know How to Get There
Plan in advance how you’re going to get to the vet – are you driving, walking, on public transport? Do you know where to park when you’re there?
If you’re carrying your pet to the vet, is it going to be warm and safe enough on the journey? Being confined in a carrier is likely going to be stressful, but it shouldn’t put your pet in any physical danger. That risk of danger is increased if your pet needs a controlled environment to survive: a snake or lizard that thrives only in warm temperatures, or a fish, for example.
Getting Your Pet in the Carrier
This is probably the most challenging bit of the whole operation. If you have a medium or large sized pet that you need put in a carrier to take to the vet – a cat, a rabbit, some kinds of dog – and it doesn’t want to go, then you have a real struggle ahead of you.
There are techniques for getting a reluctant pet into a carrier: swaddling them in a towel, simply gripping them firmly and confidently and putting them in, bribing them, but the best thing you can do is prepare.
Don’t produce the carrier suddenly and try to shove your pet into it! There’s no better recipe for panic. Leave it out for them to explore and become used to. If you’ve used it in the past or it’s second hand, give it a thorough clean, to remove any lingering fear pheromones.
Put blankets and toys in it, to encourage your pet to explore it, play games with it, or feed them in it, to not only get them used to being inside the carrier, but actually make some positive associations!
This means that when you really need it, you have a much higher chance of your pet simply walking into the carrier, and being happy and relaxed while you transport them to the vet!