Pet Care: Stressful Visits To The Veterinarian

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
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Bringing a pet to the veterinarian isn’t always easy and can be stressful for all involved. Larry Meiller finds out how to make vet visits better for everyone. Plus, information on the H3N2 canine influenza vaccine.

Featured in this Show

  • Veterinarian Lists Top 'Pet Peeves' During Appointments

    Bringing a pet to a veterinarian appointment can be stressful for the owner, animal and the doctor, and veterinarian Dr. Sandy Sawchuk said she knows exactly what is like to have a stressed pet and owner come into her office.

    Sawchuk, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said their are a few “pet peeves” when clients come in for the daily pet checkup:

    Bring in the medical records

    Sawchuk said that when it’s a pet’s first time coming into the clinic, it’s important to bring all of their medical records or have them sent ahead of time.

    She also said that letting someone bring in a pet that is not theirs or doesn’t know anything about that pet’s medical history, can be just as worse.


    She said pet owners should remember to bring their pets in carriers.

    “For cats especially, have them in a carrier,” Sawchuk said. “I had someone come in with their cat on a harness and leash and by the time they came into the examine room, they were so stressed … it is really helpful to have your cat adapted to be in a carrier.”

    One pet per appointment

    It can be hard to limit the appointment to one pet because of timing, but Sawchuk said that if one pet is stressed because of treatments, then it can stress out the other pet just as much when it’s waiting for its turn.

    Arrive on time

    Sawchuk said she knows that the clinic can be running behind when it’s a packed day at the office, but it’s important to give as much time into each client’s appointments.

    Fussy children

    She said parents should be take care before bringing young children in to the exam room.

    “Having a child that is fussing … really limits our abilities to explain things,” she said. “Although it is a great experience … know your child before you bring them in because it can really effect how we’re able to deal with your pet.”

    Bathroom breaks

    Most of the time, the pet needs to provide a urine sample at the appointment. Therefore, it’s necessary that they don’t go to the bathroom before coming into the clinic, Sawchuk said.

    She suggested a short leash or carrying the pets in so that they don’t try and go to the bathroom.

    Muzzle one’s dog

    Lastly, if an owner knows their dog is known to feel uncomfortable at the vet, put a muzzle on them before the appointment.

    Sawchuk said that basket muzzles are easy because it has the option to put treats through the bars. It allows the vet to take less time trying to calm the dog down or putting on a muzzle themselves.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Cheyenne Lentz Producer
  • Dr Sandra Sawchuk Guest

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