Tips For Reducing Vet Visit Anxiety

The Dreaded Trip To The Vet

How many times have you prepared for a peaceful trip to the vet only to find that your animal companionĀ is stressed out and completely dreading the visit? Do they already know what is happening? If you haven’t figured it out by now, yes, they can read our minds…actually, our hearts!


My friend has a cat who is known at the vet’s as psycho-kitty. This is not funny as it takes at least 2-3 vet techs with towels to get her out of the carrier to be examined. Before she left the house, she would transform from her affectionate and loving self into a feral like animal trapped in a matrix of anxiety, fearful of everything and everyone, worried and out of control. I have since been able to recommend some things that have helped her kitty and everyone involved.

psycho cat

Does your beloved feline turn into psycho-kitty every time you have to visit the vet?

Whenever possible, stay with your animal companion while waiting for the vet and during the examination. Your presence is comforting and familiar. Stay calm during the exam. Your animal will take cues from you. Avoid overly emotional responses to simple procedures. Speak to the vet in conversational tones and maintain a relaxed posture.

Positive Reinforcement

I sometimes take my dog, Mikey, to the vet to pick something up so he knows that every time he goes there, something “bad” isn’t going to happen to him. This shows him it is also a very positive experience. If possible, take your animal companion to other places besides the vet’s office.

Dog with Giant Bone

Give dogs treats only to reinforce positive behavior.

Bring along a handful of treats or put catnip in the cat carrier when taking your cat to the vet. A common mistake people often make is giving them a treat when they display anxious behavior. Give your animal companions treats only when they are sitting quietly and calmly. This kind of positive reinforcement will also help to reduce stress.

Tips For Reducing Vet Visit Anxiety

I frequently recommend flower essences to reduce vet visit anxiety. They can be applied before, during the trip to the clinic and in the waiting room.

Vet holding a pet rabbit

Here are a few that I like:

  • Oregon Grape- helps the animal expect the best from the vet or from anyone handling them
  • Red Clover- for deep states of fear and panic
  • White Clover- for milder, everyday anxiety
  • White Yarrlow- a shielding essence that helps prevent the animal from picking up the fear or panic of their guardian or other animals at the vet’s office
  • Heartsease- creates a heart opening and ease for moving through stressful situations
  • Lilac- balances the animal and helps prepareĀ them for the veterinary treatment
  • Palmachristi- meaning “Hands of Christ,” it has a soothing effect and facilitates treatment
  • Stressless Vet Visits by Anaflora

Here are some ways they can be applied:

  • Gently rub a drop or two on the tips of their ears or paw pads
  • Alternatively, rub a couple of drops between your palms and wipe them gently over your animal’s body.
  • Put some in a spray bottle and spritz the inside of their carrier
  • Put a few drops directly into their mouth.

Your animal companion may never look forward to visiting the vet but these ideas can make the experience less stressful for everyone.

One thought on “Tips For Reducing Vet Visit Anxiety

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