Prepping Your Pet for a Trip to the Vet


We help to make your pet’s veterinary visit as Fear Free as possible. One thing you can do is help your pet arrive to the clinic in a calm state of mind.

Here are some tips:

  • Your pet should voluntarily go into a carrier or crate or wear a seatbelt harness in the car. Give any prescribed anti-nausea or anti-anxiety supplements or medications as prescribed by your veterinarian. If you think your pet would benefit from such medications or supplements, let us know when booking your pets appointment.
  • Cats should be resting comfortably in their carrier before being placed in the vehicle. Walk dogs to the car on leash. Like cats, small dogs can get in the carrier indoors and be carried to the car.
  • When transporting your cat or small dog in a carrier, minimize movement. If possible, support the carrier from the bottom, with one side resting against your chest, as if you are carrying a fragile gift. This helps your pet to feel more secure.
  • Prepare the car so it promotes a calming environment:
    • Play calming music or pop in an audiobook.
    • Apply calming pheromones (ask our team about Adaptil or Feliway) or scents like lavender. 6 to 8 sprays of a calming pheromone or 2 or 3 sprays of a diluted lavender scent will suffice. Apply 10 to 15 minutes before your pet enters the carrier or car.
    • Cool or warm the car to a comfortable temperature before putting your pet inside.
  • Properly secure carrier/crate in the vehicle.
    • A nonslip surface should be in and under carrier/crate or on the car seat.
    • Place a pheromone-infused towel or blanket over the carrier, leaving one side uncovered for ventilation.
    • The floorboard behind the passenger seat is the most secure location for a small pet carrier.
    • Secure large crates or carriers to prevent sliding.
  • Avoid feeling rushed. If you are stressed, your pet will sense this and may become stressed.
  • To prevent carsickness, accelerate slowly from a stop, allow extra distance between other vehicles to prevent sudden braking, and take turns slowly.
  • Be matter of fact, and don’t speak to your pet in a sing-song voice. If you are calm, happy, and relaxed, your pet will be, too.
  • Cats need 5 to 10 minutes to adjust to their new surroundings and feel safe. If you cannot avoid waiting in the clinic lobby, place your cat’s carrier on an elevated surface & cover the front and two sides with a pheromone-infused towel. Depending on your dog’s preferences, you might wait in the vehicle, take a short walk, or wait in the clinic lobby.
  • If you know your pet gets stressed waiting in the clinic lobby, call us when you arrive. We can ensure your pet’s exam room is ready.

For more great Fear Free tips visit Fear Free Happy Homes!