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How to Ease Pet Anxiety at the Vet

Published: October 21, 2020 | Updated: October 26, 2020

Nobody enjoys a trip to the doctor’s office. Not even your pet! If Rover or Fifi try to claw their way back to the parking lot as you enter the veterinarian office, it’s safe to say they probably have some anxiety about their medical care. Don’t worry. It’s common for animals to get scared at the vet’s office, but that doesn’t mean every visit has to be stressful. If you want to make your trips a more positive experience for both you and your pet, here are some ways to ease animal anxiety at the vet’s.

Stop By and Say Hi to Ease Your Pet’s Anxiety

A trip to the vet’s office doesn’t need to be for a shot or medical exam. Instead, stop by for a friendly, stress-free visit—and maybe even a treat! This is a great idea before your pet’s very first veterinary visit. Schedule a time to drop by and introduce them to the veterinarian and get them familiar with the sights and smells of the office. A positive first impression can go a long way to make subsequent visits a lot less scary.

Choose a Fear Free Certified Veterinarian

Make sure to choose a Fear Free Certified practice for your pet’s care. Fear Free Certified professionals have completed veterinary education that stresses the importance of your pet’s emotional wellbeing, as well as their physical health. And those certified professionals know how to handle fearful, anxious, and stressed out pets.

Make Your Pet Feel Secure

Make sure your pet feels secure on the way to the vet’s office. Belt them in for the drive so they don’t move around (unless that freaks them out). Put them in a snug shirt, like you might during a thunderstorm. Play calm, soothing music in the car. If you create a serene environment before the visit, your dog will walk in the door in a relaxed state.

Reward Your Pet

The more positive associations your pet has with the visit, the better. Bring along your pet’s favorite treats and reward them for good behavior during the trip. You can also bring along a favorite toy to keep them occupied both in the car and in the waiting room.

Book Your Appointment During a Less Chaotic Time

Is the morning time less busy at your vet’s office? Or maybe their rush hour tapers off in the afternoon? Try to book your appointment when their business is slow. The more meows and barks your pet hears and the more anxious energy they feel, the more likely they are to become anxious themselves. Plus, a less busy timeslot might mean that your visit could move a little faster, which can ease the stress for you and your pet.

Don’t Project Your Anxiety

Animals are sensitive to energy. If you’re nervous at the vet’s office, chances are your pet will be too. You have your furry friend’s best interest at heart, so it’s normal for you to worry about the vet visit. But your negative energy could unintentionally influence their feelings. While you follow these tips to ease your pet’s stress, do a few things to relieve your own. Take a walk around the neighborhood before you leave or take some time to play with your pet. Just be sure to keep your energy calm, so your pet will be more likely to do the same.


Do you love animals? We do too! How would you like a career as a Veterinary Assistant? At Charter College in Vancouver and Oxnard, we offer a Certificate in Veterinary Assistant that includes Fear Free training so you can become certified in the techniques that will help ease animals’ stress when they’re in your care. You’ll also be prepared to work in a veterinary office that hires Fear Free certified personnel. Call 888-200-9942 to learn more now.