What Techniques Are Effective for Calming Anxious Pets During Visits?


    What Techniques Are Effective for Calming Anxious Pets During Visits?

    When it comes to soothing the nerves of our furry friends during veterinary visits, a Veterinarian has shared their go-to methods. They offer a range of techniques from examining pets on the floor to the use of treats or toys for distraction, along with additional answers that provide a full spectrum of strategies. Together, these insights form a guide to creating a stress-free experience for anxious pets.

    • Examine Pets on the Floor
    • Use Pheromone Diffusers
    • Play Relaxation Music
    • Implement TTouch Therapy
    • Prescribe Pre-Visit Relaxants
    • Distract with Treats or Toys

    Examine Pets on the Floor

    As a veterinarian with over a decade of experience, I find that examining my patients on the floor is the quickest way to put them at ease. The examination table is often cold and too high off the ground for some pets. I have always examined all of my patients on the floor, with the owners sitting next to us.

    Also, consider bringing in a towel that smells like home. Pets are very olfactory-centered, so familiar smells can help them relax. Just realize your towel could get soiled, especially if your pet is sick.

    Dr. Shannon Barrett
    Dr. Shannon BarrettVeterinarian, Owner, Product Doctor

    Use Pheromone Diffusers

    Pheromone diffusers work effectively by emitting calming chemicals that pets naturally respond to, which can soothe them without any direct interaction. These diffusers can be placed in waiting areas to help create a calm atmosphere for pets before they enter the examination room. The synthetic pheromones mimic the ones that mother animals produce to calm their offspring, providing a sense of security and peace.

    Since pets rely heavily on their sense of smell, this method can be particularly comforting to them. Owners who notice their pets are anxious during visits should consider talking to their veterinarian about this option.

    Play Relaxation Music

    Playing pet-specific relaxation music in the background is a subtle and effective way to ease an animal’s nerves. This type of music is designed with sounds and rhythms that have a calming effect on animals. It works by providing a distraction from the unfamiliar noises of a clinic, which can be unsettling for pets.

    The soothing melodies can help decrease stress levels by creating a serene environment. Ask your veterinarian or look online for music tailored for pet relaxation and play it during your pet’s next visit to see the difference it can make.

    Implement TTouch Therapy

    TTouch therapy involves a series of gentle and mindful touches and movements designed to relax and calm animals. Through a combination of lifts, slides, and pressure points, this method helps to release tension in the pet's body. TTouch therapy can aid in reducing anxiety and fear by promoting a sense of safety and well-being.

    It requires patience and can be learned by pet owners or performed by trained professionals. Inquire about TTouch therapy at your pet clinic and consider integrating it into your visits to help ease your pet’s stress.

    Prescribe Pre-Visit Relaxants

    Pre-visit pharmaceutical relaxants are sometimes prescribed by veterinarians for pets that experience high levels of stress during clinic visits. These medications work by targeting the nervous system and helping to reduce anxiety and promote calmness. It is important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions closely when administering such relaxants.

    This option should be used as a last resort after non-pharmaceutical methods have been tried. If your pet’s anxiety is particularly severe, discuss the possibility of pharmaceutical relaxants with your veterinarian.

    Distract with Treats or Toys

    Using treats or toys to distract a pet can be a simple yet effective technique to alleviate their anxiety during a clinic visit. When pets are focused on their favorite snack or toy, they are less likely to be worried about their surroundings. This method provides a positive association with the clinic environment and can be particularly helpful during examination or treatment.

    It is a safe and non-invasive way to support your pet through a potentially stressful situation. Bring your pet's favorite toy or treat to their next veterinarian visit and use it to help them stay calm and focused.