Summertime is the best! Going on day trips, camping, or vacations are all excellent ways to get out and enjoy our few months of nice weather. With our pets being such an important part of our families these days, most people like to include them in the fun!
Day trips in the car to the lake or campground can be lots of fun for both humans and pets (mostly dogs)! When travelling in the car with your pets, you want to make sure they are secured either in a kennel or with a seat belt. Its not easy to drive with a 70 lb dog in your lap! You also want to make sure you pack plenty of water for the trip.
Finally, while the destination may be fun, your pet may not enjoy the journey. Some dogs and cats can experience motion sickness or even anxiety during car rides. There are medications your veterinarian can recommend to help with these issues. You can also try pheromones like Feliway or Adaptil to help with stress, and Thundershirts have been known to make car rides more enjoyable as well!
Many factors influence the method of travel…cost, length of the journey, regulations, etc. As veterinarians we often hear about some of these “adventures”. When your pet needs to travel long distances (plane, ferry or car), there are different things to keep in mind. Here are some of the things to take into consideration which are often missed.
No matter what your travel plans include, making sure everyone is safe and happy is top priority. Taking our pets along with us on our summertime adventures is an excellent way to bond with them and make sure they live their best life, so long as we make sure their needs are met.
Coming to the vet can be so stressful for some pets! Over the years, we have been perfecting our knowledge and skills in low stress handling here at the Elmsdale Animal Hospital to help our furry friends feel more relaxed and comfortable at the vet. Improving experiences at the vet hospital for our patients and clients is our priority.
While we think of a routine trip to our own doctor as a chore; inconvenient but otherwise pretty low stress, our pets can see trips to the vet in a very different way.
He has no idea where he is. The room is very bright and the smells like fear. The sounds are also terrifying. One pup is crying a lonely cry after waking up from surgery, another barking out of fear at the people in the waiting room. One cat who is getting her blood drawn is crying and hissing so loud everyone in the building can hear. So now, Leo's worst fears have come true: he is at the vet! Can you just imagine how Leo is going to behave? He feels like he has to fight for his life! And will he be better or worse the next time he has to see the vet if things add to his fear like needles or handling in a way that does not make sense to a cat?
So why are positive visits so important? Obviously, your pets comfort is top priority; no one wants to see their fur baby scared and acting out. There are however many other benefits to Positive Vet Visits! Limiting stress while at the vet clinic is becoming the standard of practicing veterinarians today. Dr. Sophia Yin, a pioneer of the low stress movement among vet professionals, stated that “Low Stress Handling leads to safer and more satisfied staff, efficient workplaces, lowered liability, loyal clients, and of course, happy animals.” As you can see, it makes better sense for all involved to keep things as calm and stress-free as possible!
Having your pet less stressed while at the veterinarian can also be beneficial at home. There are studies suggesting that stressful events, such as fearful vet visits, will increase the chances a pet will show aggression and have behaviour problems at home. Therefore, reducing your pet’s stress while at our clinic needs to be a priority for you as well as for us!
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital