Preparing your cat for their vet visit

Did you know vet visits don’t have to be a hassle? No more dragging the cat through the door! Try these ways to take away the stress and fear so every appointment is more relaxing and enjoyable for you and your pet.

Cats need routine, annual exams to help with early disease detection and health maintenance, but we know it can be challenging to get them here. The following are some tips to help reduce the anxiety and stress that is commonly associated with the process of that visit for both of you!

Acclimate your cat to the carrier.
Being placed in a carrier can be stressful for your cat. To ease the transition, leave the carrier out and open in a place your cat can thoroughly examine it a few days before the visit. Cats are naturally curious, and your pet will likely want to sniff and check out this strange object. The more familiar your cat is with the carrier, the less stressed it will be being placed inside it. Outfitting the carrier with one of your pet’s favorite blankets can also help reduce anxiety.


Take a practice car ride.
If your cat is jittery about car trips or has never ridden in a car, take a practice run with your cat safely in the carrier. Take few loops around the block then return home and let your pet out of the carrier. Acclimating your cat to travel can greatly reduce stress. And a calm cat is far easier for you and your vet to handle.


Use Calming Pheromones
Cats communicate through natural “messages” released in the air called pheromones. FELIWAY mimics these natural feline messages or ’’happy messages’’ and helps cats feel comfortable and more secure. Feliway is available for purchase here at Heartland and can be sprayed in the carrier prior to your kitty’s visits. We use these pheromones throughout the clinic as well to help reduce stress during their visit.

Preparing your dog for their vet visit

Take Away the Fuss – Your Puppy Can Learn to Trust Us

Did you know vet visits don’t have to be a hassle? No more dragging the dog through the door! Try these five ways to take away the stress and fear so every appointment is more relaxing and enjoyable for you and your pet.

JUST for FUN
Come for a fun visit before the actual appointment to get familiar with the new surroundings in a non-threatening way. Friendly staff members will be sure your puppy gets plenty of treats and attention. At the next visit he will remember how fun we can be.

EXPLORE
Make this an adventure for your puppy. Come in a little early and take time to walk around outside. After checking in, let him get a good sniff around the lobby and down the hallway. Encourage him to say hi to some staff members and reward him with snacks.

PACK a GOODIE BAG
Bring some extra special treats that your puppy doesn’t get very often. Deli chicken, liver treats, peanut butter, and other yummy snacks will distract him from anything scary or uncomfortable. A favorite toy to play with can also help a puppy feel at home.

PLAY VET at HOME
Getting your puppy used to having his mouth, paws, and ears handled will make his physical exam a breeze. Make sure you are in charge but stay calm and relaxed. Use lots of treats and praise to make this a positive experience!

HUNGRY DOG = HAPPY DOG
Skipping a meal prior to the visit will make a pet very excited about food rewards during an exam. A bellyful of goodies when he leaves will certainly make him a happy dog. **

**Use caution with puppies under 5lbs due to the possibility of hypoglycemia. These little ones should not skip a regular meal, just don’t feed them immediately prior to the exam.