Springtime prompts many Carbon County residents to take family cats and dogs to annual veterinary check-ups to ensure the pets are in good health and prepared for the upcoming flea and tick season.
As most people have probably experienced, leaving home and going to the veterinarian can be stressful for pets and owners due to many new sights, smells, sounds and sensations.
By preparing pets for the vet visits in advance and keeping the animals calm during the process, the experience can be less stressful for humans as well as the cats and dogs.
"It is important to help your pet adjust to traveling and the new environment of a veterinary clinic," points out Debra Nickelson at Central Life Sciences.
Nickelson recommends that Carbon County residents consider the following suggestions:
Many pets, especially cats, should be ++placed in a comfortable crate before traveling inside motor vehicles.
People can make the ride less stressful by allowing pets to become familiar with the crates a week prior to the scheduled vet visit.
People should keep the crates out for pets to investigate or place the animals in the carriers for short periods of time.
The familiarization process will condition cats or dogs to feel more at ease and reduce the animals' reluctance to enter and exit the crates.
Pets that are apprehensive about traveling in vehicles will also benefit from taking a few short rides around the neighborhood prior to a vet visit.
Preparing the animals in advance is the best way to ensure the ride to the veterinarian office goes smoothly, explains Nickelson.
Pets may become carsick as a result of motion sickness or stress caused by being removed from home environments.
To decrease the likelihood of pets becoming anxious or ill while traveling, people should be sure the animals have recently gone to the bathroom before entering the vehicles.
Pets should be fed at least five hours prior to the ride.
Dogs and cats should be restrained in a travel crate or approved harness to keep pets and drivers safe.
Upon entering most veterinary offices, pets and owners must wait in an area filled with not only other animals, but a plethora of unfamiliar smells and noises.
Some pets may find the situation stressful which is why it's a good idea to keep the animals crated if that is how they traveled.
People should provide plenty of attention and praise to help the pets remain calm and distract the animals from the unfamiliar surroundings.
To keep pets safe from other animals in the waiting room, owners should always make sure dogs are on a leashes.
Once in the exam room, pets will likely be placed on a table to be assessed by the veterinarian.
The combination of being in a foreign environment, isolated up on a table and touched by an unknown person can cause extreme levels of stress in dogs and cats.
It is important to comfort the animals with petting and verbal praise to help alleviate any stress.
Having a few treats on hand will also help pets remain calm and forget about his current surroundings.
Despite the fact the pets have returned home to the comfort of normal environments, many cats and dogs may continue to show signs of stress in the hours after a vet visit.
If the animals seem anxious and whine excessively, people should avoid providing excessive attention as it will only reinforce the animals' stress.
If pets are having a difficult time calming down several hours after the vet visit, people should provide the animals with plenty of exercise, a favorite special treat or a new toy.
It is also important for people to stay home with pets for several hours following a vet visit to help reassure the animals that life has returned to normal.
For additional information, local residents with Internet access may visit www.petcomfortzone.com/behave.