Top tips for a stress-free vet visit for your dog

A visit to the vet can be quite stressful for many animals. And it’s no wonder – we poke, prod, and give them injections, all in an enclosed, unfamiliar environment.

But it doesn’t have to be an uneasy experience. At Cameron Veterinary Services, we work really hard to provide a welcoming, friendly, and stress-free environment for your dog. And with a little bit of preparation from you, your dog may well end up loving their trips to the vet.

Bring your puppy in to meet us

On a typical first visit to the vet, puppies will have a vaccination and full health check – including the indignant temperature check. So, it’s no surprise that they’re not generally so happy to return for more vet consultations.

As soon as you get your puppy, take them to your vet for a visit. The Cameron Veterinary Services team love nothing more than pats and cuddles with adorable little pups – as well as giving out a treat or two. Whenever possible, we will also take your pup into the consult room, have them sit on the table, and hop on the scales.

All of this familiarisation will help make the first “official” appointment at the vet much more stress-free now that you puppy has a positive association with the vet clinic.

Don’t be in a rush

If you’re stressed, then your dog is bound to feed off that stress as well.

Before your vet appointment, make sure you are prepared. If it’s at a clinic you’ve never been to, know how long it will take to get there, and where you can park. Give yourself plenty of time to get there without needing to rush, and take along anything your vet has asked you to bring – this may be your puppy’s papers, previous vaccination records etc. Also have a think about any questions you may wish to ask the vet – this may be about your dog’s diet, their behaviour, or any concern you may have.

Being prepared for your consultation will ensure a calm experience – for both you and your pet.

Take them on car trips that aren’t just to the vet

If the only time your dog travels in the car is to see the vet, it’s bound to be hard work getting them in the car for your appointment. To avoid this, try and incorporate some extra car journeys with your dog. They don’t have to be long – short, frequent trips will help enormously.

You could drive to a dog park a couple of suburbs away, take a trip to a walking trail, or an off-leash area where your dog can run around. Your dog will learn to build positive associations with a car trip, rather than linking car travel with a visit to the vet.

Don’t feed them before their visit

We all know that dogs are led by their stomachs – and we as vets definitely use that to our advantage when dealing with more anxious pets. At our clinic, we use treats (with your permission of course) to calm a more nervous pet on their arrival, as well as during and after anything your dog will view as a bit scary or uncomfortable, such as injections or taking their temperature.

Feel free to bring a toy

If your dog has a favourite toy or teddy, bringing that along with you to your appointment will provide a great distraction. It can provide your dog with great comfort in an unfamiliar environment and is a great way to entice them into the car if they are a reluctant traveller.

Choose your vet wisely

Just like choosing your own medical professional, it’s vital that you choose a vet that is a good fit for your dog – and for you too. Before making an appointment with a clinic, drop in for a chat, unannounced. It’s a great way to see the staff in action, the environment of the waiting room and interactions with pets and their owners. The relationship between you and your vet clinic is likely to be long-term, so it’s important that you feel comfortable and valued.

The Cameron Veterinary Services difference

As a small, family-owned vet clinic, we see our patients as part of our extended family. In planning our brand-new small animal clinic, we thought very carefully about the veterinary care and service that we would expect for our own pets, and how we could deliver that in our clinic.

We want to get to know your pet – and you as their owner – as this allows us to provide the best quality, individualised care possible. We see this as making a massive difference in providing a stress-free environment and allowing us to provide personalised vet care for your dog.

To book an appointment at our brand-new, purpose-built small animal clinic in Gawler East, give us a call on 08 8318 1801.