How To Get Your Pet To Love The Vet

The veterinarian’s office can be a scary place for cats and dogs.  Lots of other animal smells, big equipment, pokes and prods, and more unpleasant experiences [no pet likes a thermometer]!  Here are some tips that we have to make your pet’s vet visit go as smoothly as possible.

  • Bring their favorite treats.  Make a trip to the vet rewarding for them by packing their absolute FAVORITE food.  This could even be some people foods like cheese or whipped cream if you only visit the vet once or twice per year.
  • Don’t be nervous. Pets can sense your anxiety and if you’re stressed, they’ll be stressed.  Calmly praise and pet them in slow strokes.
  • For felines, leave the carrier out at home all the time.  Make the carrier a safe place for your cat to crawl into by adding blankets and their favorite toys.  By making the carrier available all the time for your cat to use, he or she won’t associate it solely with a trip to the vet.
  • Practice handling your pet.  Running your hands up and down their bodies, picking up and holding feet, and examining ears and teeth will all get your pet used to the veterinarian’s examination process.
  • Ask the receptionist to schedule you for a low-traffic time.  First thing in the morning, right before or after lunch, or the last appointment available are usually times where the waiting room is pretty empty.  If your pet is stressed out by all the other animals, ask for a time where it will just be your pet in the waiting room.
  • Stop at the vet for “Happy Visits.”  If your vet is close to home, you can stop by with your pet simply for what we call a Happy Visit.  Your pet will simply come into the waiting room, perhaps sit on the scale, while employees praise and reward your pet with treats.
  • Schedule some fun time immediately after the vet [if your pet is healthy].  This can be a trip to the dog park, designated play time at home, or a nice long car ride.  Check with your veterinarian about ideal ways to reward your pet after a vet trip.


Do you have any insight on pets’ secret love for their veterinarians?  Let us know in the comments below!