For our small pets, their days are usually confined to our homes. The only time they are outside of their snug little habitats is when we are playing with them, cleaning up after them, or making our journey to the veterinarian's office for a routine checkup.
Due to the rarity of them being outside of our homes, the voyage to the vet could cause a great deal of anxiety for our pets. This can result in negative impacts on their physical and mental health. It's important to prepare for the trip ahead of time while making it as stress-free as possible. How can you make your pets comfortable and have an easy trip to the vet?
Find a Proper Animal Carrier for an Easy Trip to the Vet
When choosing between pet carriers to transport your small pet, go with an actual pet carrier. Many people tend to consider the use of cardboard boxes to be a suitable option but are often unaware that many of our furry friends like to nibble and claw. This can then be a safety hazard if they escape while we're driving. A good choice in regards to a pet carrier would be the Pigeon Stroller. For those of us with birds, cats, small dogs, and rabbits up to 12 pounds, the Pigeon Stroller is an effective tool that serves two important functions. First, it is a double-decker stroller, which can be used to cart our pets around. Second, it comes with detachable pet carriers, which makes the transportation of our pets a more efficient process.
Normalize The Pet Carrier
The first time your animal goes inside a pet carrier could be a scary experience because it is new. It is important, especially when dealing with more frantic animals (i.e., cats), that you get them used to being inside of one. You can do this by placing them inside a pet carrier for a few minutes at a time then and walking around the house. Then you can take them out and put them gently back where they belong. This process embeds in the animal's mind that the pet carrier is nothing to be afraid of, and when they go in, they always come out. Once your pet starts going into the carrier without fighting or making the process difficult, then you'll know they are ready for the journey to the vet.
Bring Their Favorite Accessories
The objective is to reduce stress by creating a comfortable environment for our pets. We maximize comfort by providing our animals with the things they use on a daily basis, such as toys, blankets, and other accessories. These work to keep them calm by distracting them with things that they love as we drive. Depending on the size and type of animal, their needs regarding comfort could range from a simple blanket to hide their heads under, to squeaky toys to bite on.
Bringing along snacks is probably the best way to keep your animal distracted while you travel and as you wait in the waiting room. Make sure you are equipped with snacks such as apples, pears, chicken, cereal, and seeds for your small dog, cat, bird, or rabbit. These will ensure a smooth and comfortable journey to and from the vet's office.
Bring Someone Along During The Drive
Asking a friend to tag along with you to help support your small pet will help keep their anxiety at bay during the drive. Have your friend in the backseat gently petting and speaking calmly to your animal. This can help establish trust, while simultaneously lowering their guard as they realize that they don't need to be afraid.
Bring Another Pet
If you have pairs of pigeons, doves, rabbits, chinchillas, hamsters, or any other small animals, bring along one of your pet's buddies to help make the ride more tolerable. By putting both animals into the same pet carrier, they can work together to keep each other calm, while also having some fun goofing around.
Set The Appropriate Temperature
Depending on the animal, some with thicker furs like chinchillas and rabbits tend to overheat easily in warmer weather. Others with little to no fur such as hamsters and rats are more inclined to get cold, which could trigger sickness. It is important to know your pet and understand the internal and external temperature, so you are not putting your animal under any unnecessary stress. During hot summer days, crack a window or turn on the air conditioning. On colder days turn on the heater or pad the pet carrier with blankets for extra warmth.
Make Sure The Pet Carrier is Secure
Imagine what would happen to a car seat if it wasn't properly secured. That visual you just imagined is exactly what would happen to your pet carrier if it's not fixed in properly. Constant jolting can stress out and terrify your animal, which is the opposite of what we want to do. If your car isn't equipped to fasten your pet carrier into one of the back seats, you can place it on the floor or behind the passenger seat. Then you can pad the surrounding areas to decrease the amount of movement experienced.
Make The Trip to the Vet a Fun Experience
For many animals, their outlook of the vet is probably negative due to past experiences (i.e., shots), but it doesn't have to remain that way. You could alter their perception by playing, cuddling, and speaking kindly to your small pet. Doing this before you head to see the doctor and during the appointment will help ease their stress and imprint a positive memory associated with the clinic in their minds. This positivity will even carry over to the next visit.
Trips to the vet can be a stressful experience, not only for the animal but for the owners, as we try to ease their anxiety. Hopefully, these tips work to convert that fear into excitement and an easy trip to the vet.
We invite you to visit our website to learn more about our pet strollers and carriers to ensure your next trip to the vet is easy and comfortable for everyone.