Checklist: What to do before, during, and after your dog vet visit.
Taking your dog to the vet regularly is an essential aspect of their lifelong wellness. However, it's not uncommon for the vet to be a major source of stress for your pup. If your dog's least-favorite place to be is the vet, keep this Fear Free®-approved checklist close on hand. It is specifically designed to reduce stress at the vet for both your dog and you, from the days leading up to your appointment to when you bring your best friend back home.
3+ Days Ahead of Your Dog's Vet Appointment
- Make sure your car is equipped for your canine passenger.
- Take your dog in the car for joy rides to increase their comfort level.
- Practice simple handling exercises
- This might include a paw massage or gentle restraint, paired with plenty of treats.
- Get acquainted with Fear Free Certified processes.
- Create your Papaya App profile and complete your dog's emotional record.
- Write down any questions or concerns that you have for the vet.
The Morning of Your Dog's Appointment
- Budget plenty of time ahead of the appointment to avoid being rushed.
- Take your dog for a walk to let them go to the bathroom and run off some energy.
- Don't feed them ahead of the appointment (so treats are extra delicious!)
- If your veterinarian recommends supplements or medications ahead of car travel, give them to your dog as prescribed.
- Queue up a calming playlist. This YouTube channel has several playlists for dogs!
- Pack the following items:
- Favorite treats
- Favorite toy
- Grooming brush
- Clothing that smells like you
At Your Dog's Appointment
- Wait in your car until your veterinary care team is ready to see your dog and you.
- Use a soft voice; avoid higher pitches or shouting.
- Remain calm; if you're stressed, your dog will be stressed too!
- Let your veterinarian know if you have specific concerns or questions.
After Your Dog's Appointment
- Take them for a bathroom break!
- Give them a calming place to reorient themselves and recover.
- Use a pheromone diffuser to help your dog feel at ease.
- If veterinarian-approved, feed your dog a meal or play with them.
What if it's an emergency?
Every pet owner dreads an emergency, but situations like this can arise. You can be prepared ahead of time to get your dog care as quickly as possible. If you're unsure if your dog needs urgent care, call your veterinarian immediately to assess the situation.
- Stay calm as panicking may cause your pet to become agitated.
- Respond as much as possible.
- Place your dog in their crate carefully.
- Bring along any prescription medications.
- Drive safely to the veterinarian or emergency pet hospital.
- Talk to your veterinarian about CBD! Some research suggests CBD may have calming effects on dogs and cats.
- If your dog is terrified of the veterinarian… they're not alone. That's why we created the Papaya Comfort Visit™, which you can learn about here.
- Discover more Papaya-approved dog parenthood tips.
The information in this blog is reviewed and approved by the Fear Free Certified veterinarians at Papaya Pet Care.