Next time you take your dog or cat to the vet, make sure your pet is well-mannered and not disturbing other people waiting or scaring other animals. My cats are frightened as it is when going to the vet and being in a carrier and when dogs have come to sniff their carrier, it often results in a freakout and one of them wets themselves. It was so stressful that I found a vet that only saw cats. But it’s not always easy to find a vet that only sees dogs or cats so it’s important to practice what it known as “office manners” with your pet.
Here are 10 ways to make sure your pet isn’t scaring or creating a ruckus in the waiting room:
1: Keep your cats in their carrier. No matter how friendly or laid back your cat is and how cool and collected he may be when sunning himself in the yard, the vet office is a different place and full of strangers, strange animals, and lots of weird smells. Some people are allergic to cats. A dog that is not cat friendly could come in, a cat that doesn’t like other cats might start a fight. The last thing you want is your cat being seriously injured while waiting for a checkup.
2: Keep your dogs on a leash and by your side. You don’t want your dog wrapping herself around a chair leg, another person, or jumping up and greeting people. If your dog is super hyper or stressed, ask the receptionist if there’s a better place to wait like outside or in your car and then be called when it’s time for the vet to see your pup.
3: If you have multiple pets and feel that you can’t control them all, bring another family member to help or a friend. If you have two dogs or more you may need some help keeping them calm, controlled, and ok while at the vet. If you can’t schedule an appt that works with a friend or family member, you may want to make more than appt to bring in your pets. While this isn’t convenient it is safer.
4: Don’t allow your dogs to meet and greet other dogs at the vet. Some of them are ill, some may have parasites, and some may be so scared they may react with aggression at meeting another dog in that environment. Keep all pets apart.
5: Don’t pet other dogs or cats without asking the owner. The vet office is a strange and stressful place for pets and animals that are normally friendly may be on the defense and bite or scratch if a stranger comes near them.
6: Give your pet your attention while you’re waiting in the office. Let your pet know it’s not scary, watch them to make sure they don’t try to bolt out the door, and soothe them. Put away the smartphone and watch your pet’s body language to gauge her stress level.
7: If you have a pet that is severely anxious or is aggressive towards other animals, let the receptionist know when you make the appt to avoid any altercations. Some offices have a back door, others will call you if you wait in your car, and others can have you wait in another exam room while the vet finishes up with another patient.
8: If the waiting room is packed and you’re not sure your pet will handle the crowd well, ask someone to let the receptionist know you’re there or call and let them know you’re outside and waiting. No reason to stress your dog or cat out and risk a fight.
9: Be patient, be courteous. As stressful as it can be to wait or bring your pets to the vet, try to be kind and calm. Your pets will detect your stress and may become more freaked out.
10: If you have small children, a trip to the vet is not the place to bring them. Some pets may not be child friendly and you may not be able to keep an eye on them, your pet, and other people’s pets. Better to be safe than sorry.