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Bringing Your Dog to The Vets

Bringing Your Dog to The Vets
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A visit to the vets does not have to be stressful for you or your dog.

Here are a few helpful tips:

1. Plan Ahead

  • If possible, try to take your dog out for a good walk before his appointment to allow him to go to the toilet, and relax him a little.
  • Don’t feed him for a couple of hours before travelling, to reduce the risk of motion sickness. If your dog does suffer from motion sickness, please mention it to your vet, as there are some very effective medications available.
  • If your dog is anxious about visiting the vets, please discuss it with us as we can arrange a series of regular socialisation visits to help. We also schedule monthly check-ups for puppies to familiarise them with trips to the vets.
  • Let us know if your dog is very nervous and we will try to book you an appointment at the beginning of a clinic when the waiting room will be quieter, and there is less chance you will have to wait to be seen.

 

2. Using A Carrier

  • For your own and your dog’s safety, you should never let your dog travel loose in the car, and he should always be safely restrained on a short lead or in a secure carrier at the vet surgery.
  • If your dog is small enough, you may wish to transport him in a secure basket or carrier. If you are using a carrier, you can use some familiar smelling bedding, and a calming pheromone spray 30 minutes before putting your dog in the carrier. The carrier should be strong, escape-proof and easy to clean.

 

3. The Journey

  • The Highway Code states that drivers need to ensure ‘dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop too quickly’.
  • The law recommends a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or guard as ways of restraining your pet while driving. Please also bear in mind that if your dog is not suitably restrained when you are driving, it could invalidate your car insurance.
  • If you are using a seatbelt harness, make sure you are familiar with how to safely fit it onto your dog, and try to familiarise him with wearing it before his first journey.
  • If you are using a basket, secure it either in the footwell or on a seat with a seatbelt, and try to keep the basket level.
  • You may wish to place a towel or blanket on the seat or under the basket to absorb any “accidents”. Bring spare bedding for the return journey.
  • Keep the car cool when driving, by keeping windows open, using air conditioning and/or sun blinds.
  • Drive carefully and calmly and try to avoid loud noises and music. Talk calmly and reassuringly and stay calm yourself as pets pick up on our anxieties.

 

4. At the Vets

  • If you would prefer to wait with your dog outside the surgery until your appointment time, just let us know at reception.
  • We have separate areas of the waiting room for dogs and cats to reduce stress to both species.
  • Try to keep your dog calm and under control in the waiting room. Talk to him softly and reassure him. Do not let him sniff at other dogs or cats, as it may be stressful for them, and may spread infections.
  • If your dog is coughing, we will ask you to remain outside or in the car with him until your appointment time, due to the risk of Kennel Cough.
  • If your dog is thirsty, we can provide fresh drinking water on request.
  • Please ask for advice or a demonstration if you are unsure about how to administer any medication your dog has been prescribed.

 

Finally, if your dog becomes extremely distressed, please remember that we can offer the option of a home visit from one of our vets or nurses; please enquire at reception for further details.