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Removing Fear from Vet Visits

Does your dog or cat hide when you mention the words vet visitYou’re not alone! According to a Bayer Veterinary Study, 37% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners say their pets hate going to see their veterinarian.

The very best way to have pleasant vet visits is to start them off on the right paw when they are puppies and kittens. Let’s face it; it’s a stressful environment. They get put in the car or a crate and driven to a funny smelling building filled with strangers and a lot of commotion. They have people they don’t know poking them, holding them down, and sometimes doing things that hurt. It’s no wonder your pets (and you) are stressed out.

Believe it or not, you might be adding to their stress from the get-go. Do you rush home from work, grab your pet, and dash to the appointment? With a fearful pet, this sets them up for failure. Here are a few tips to have a relaxing visit.

If your pet hates car rides, it may be because all the rides are to places that cause stress (vet, groomer). Help them by taking fun, short car trips that involve treats and a playtime. Take your dog on a ride to the beach or the woods for a hike. A cat can just go for a “no reason” ride. Make them short, offer treats, and give them a lot of love. Once home, let them relax. Do this frequently, so they start to connect car trips with something other than stress-makers.

Now that you’re taking your pet on car rides, occasionally stop at your vet’s office for a “hello” visit. My vet welcomes these visits. The staff at my vet’s office love to see us stop in for a hug and a treat. They know that these visits ultimately make their job easier.

Try booking early morning visits. Most offices are less hectic in the morning, they aren’t behind, there may be less commotion, and a shorter wait to upset your pet. Leave with plenty of time to get to the appointment. Avoid rushing; that stresses you out, and your pet reads your stress like a book – it upsets them. So leave early, turn on some classical music (it’s been proven to relax animals and humans), and have a peaceful ride.

Many vet offices now have “species-specific” waiting areas, these dog or cat-only waiting areas are helpful. If your dog is high anxiety, you might try a Thundershirt or wait outside with your pet. 

Once you get in the exam room, don’t act differently than you normally do. I remember one of my very first visits to the dentist; my mom said, “don’t worry it won’t hurt at all” and I knew right then, it was going to hurt. So don’t tighten up on your dog’s leash, don’t talk in a different tone of voice, don’t pet them or hug them any more than you normally would. Just let them sniff around the room and give them an occasional treat.

Many vets will examine pets on the floor because those high exam tables can be scary. Make sure everyone (this means you) keeps their body language calm and relaxed. My vet gives treats throughout the entire visit, from the minute we walk thru the door until we leave. Now my dog loves his vet and the entire staff.

Many vets are now part of or practice the Fear Free program; a certification that helps make vet visits fun. They can help you, and your dog have a stress free visit. 

Find a Fear Free vet in your area.
Are you adding to the fear? Take this quiz.
More tips for Vet visits.

February Birthdays

Our team wants to wish our fur clients the happiest of birthdays. We hope their special day is filled with plenty of belly rubs and treats!

  • Euphrates Buck – February 1
  • Zoe Allen – February 1
  • Feyna Nicholl – February 4
  • Shiloh Cadwell – February 8
  • Moose Bugaski – February 14

Note to Clients:  PLEASE review and update your pet profiles.  Updated information helps us take the best care of your fur kids.

Doggone it, They’re at it Again!

Hero pets, that is! We’ve all heard the stories; they are so moving. I’m sure we all wonder if our pets would behave in the same way. Would my dog even wake up from his nap? There are many stories of animals saving their people or even strangers from danger. Here are a few good ones.

The Finn family had a bunny named Rabbit. Rabbit had a fenced in yard and a pet door so he could go in and out at will. One evening a fire broke out in the Finn home while everyone was sleeping. 

Rather than dashing out his pet door,  Rabbit made his way through the smoke-filled house and pawed at Finn’s for a half hour until he was able to wake them up! They got their daughter, and they all were able to leave the house safely. The local fire commander said the heat and smoke were so intense that without Rabbits’ help they may not have gotten out.

Maya, a gorgeous Pitbull, was the 2008 Dog of the Year. She saved her owner Angela from a vicious attack when a man broke in her home. Angela said, “Maya, get him.” And Maya did. She bit the intruder multiple times, and he finally gave up and ran out of the house. The police were able to recover the intruder’s blood on Maya and identify him with DNA testing! A word to the wise, don’t mess with Maya!

Baby, a timid tabby cat also saved his family from a fire in 2010. Josh and Letitia a suburban Chicago couple were 7 months pregnant with twins and sound asleep. A fire broke out, and Baby jumped on the couple repeatedly, until they woke up. Although they lost their home to the fire everyone, including Baby, was safe and sound.

As any pet owner knows, our pets love us, have empathy, and can sense distress. These 3 pets are something special!

Happy February!

  • The holidays are over, and it’s almost Valentine’s Day. Please schedule your visits soon via our website. Pawsitive Pet Care wants to make sure everyone can go on their trip with the peace of mind your pets have the care they deserve.
  • Did you know we offer more services than just pet sitting or dog walking? Take a look at our Services page for a full list of our services.
  • Existing clients can log-in here.
  • New Clients can log-in here.

    Pet Photography 101

    Most of us have a camera with us all of the time (our phones). If you’re like me, you’re trying to capture your pet’s personality with great photos. Pet photography can take a little patience, but with a few tips, we can all get some great photos of our pets. 

    • Take a LOT of pictures of your pet, so they are used to the camera.
    • Turn the flash off. It can wash out the image, scare the pet, or make your pet have spooky “green-eye” (like red-eyes that people sometimes have in pictures).
    • Try taking some pictures from the dogs level, not always from above.
    • Try different angles, front on, from the side, even the rear! Don’t always put your pet in the center of the photo.
    • Experiment with different ways to grab the attention of your pet. Think treats, toys, and noises. Whining often makes a dog tilt his head – cute!
    • Cats don’t always sit still so be sneaky and fast. Or, enlist a friend to help you and get some action shots of your cat playing.
    • Don’t photograph a dark colored pet against a dark background. A white pet will get lost in a light background.
    • Bunnies love to clean themselves, and those pictures are adorable! Be patient, and I bet you’ll get one.
    • Small critters are often fast movers. Have someone hold your pet and move in for a close-up of their face.
    • Pay attention to the background, is there a telephone pole directly behind your dog’s head?

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