Help Your Pet Love the Vet: Top Tips from Summer Hill Village Vet

You know we’re here because we love animals, that’s why we all come to work and we want to take the best possible care of your precious furry family member. So we were delighted to hear about a course that would upskill us in reducing stress for pets visiting the Vet. Let me tell you about our clinic’s recent training program: Stress Free Pets.

Maybe your dog or cat is one of the anxious ones rather than the dog who pulls their owner through the front door to say hello & get a treat! Doing the course we were happy to find we were already doing a lot right but there’s always room to improve and now we have great new ideas to help you and your pet.

You may wonder why the receptionist wants to cover your cat’s cage with a towel. It’s because the towel helps the cat hide from seeing dogs & other cats AND we spray the towels with happy cat pheromone which say to your cat “It’s OK. I like this place, no need to get worried”. We are also more than happy to dispense calming medication for anxious dogs so they feel relaxed in this scary place.

Apart from what we do at the Vet there are things you can do at home before you even start your journey here that will help your pet. Take a look at these handouts we designed for owners of new puppies and kittens. The tips are valid for all ages.

It’s not only the way you travel here but what happens before that. Things like:

  • When do you get the basket out ready?
  • Does your pet need anti-anxiety

You can make all the difference to your pet’s experience here (or at the groomer or any strange place) by your training. When at home & in a calm safe place you can teach your dog to be happy about people poking things in their ears or looking in their mouth and so on!

Don’t be afraid of muzzles for a dog who poses a threat to other people. If you train your dog to accept a muzzle it is not a source of anxiety for them and it means that they can be examined or treated with less restraint because the situation is safer. So they actually have a better experience.

How can I get help?

The lovely ladies from DogLogic who run puppy pre-school classes at our clinic for younger dogs also do individual training visits. I would also recommend any video or book by Dr Sophia Yin on dog handling, behaviour & training.

Check out these videos & also anything you can find by Dr Sophia Yin.

Teaching calm chin rest –

Chin rest –

Muzzle training

How can I tell if my pet is stressed at the Vet?

One of the most obvious signs is a dog trying to get back out the front door rather than go into the consultation room! But less obviously you may see that your normally greedy dog is not interested in treats! Here is more information about recognising stress in your dog.

Cats aren’t as communicative as dogs, but they do tend to go still when anxious before they indulge in more obvious warning behaviours. Here is more information about recognising stress in your cat.

Organisations we support

Maggie’s Rescue –

Rest Your Paws –