6 secrets to stress-free vet visits (#6 is the real worry-buster)
There are some things in life that kind of suck that you just have to get used to. For humans, it’s paying tax. For our furry friends, it’s going to the vet. For the latter, we have a few experience-earned tips.
There are a few stressful times to have a pet: during a thunderstorm, leaving them at home for the first time or even trying to get them in the car for the road trip of a lifetime. Getting them (and you) to the vet happens to be one of the more serious and necessary times that may cause some anxiety. It’s never fun knowing that your pet is unwell or being uncertain about what the outcome of your vet appointment may be - we worry that there may be a scary diagnosis or injury around the corner when really, things often turn out to be just fine.
Because taking your pet to the vet isn’t something you can pick and choose, it’s great that you’re here to learn about some easy techniques you can use to ensure stress-free vet visits.
1. It could be you thing
This is always the first thing to consider: maybe you’re the nervous one around here and your dog is picking up on your jittery vibes. It’s going to be very difficult for your pet to relax if they know you are tense (and as a pet owner you’ll know just how intuitive our furry friends are). Even if you do have a knot in your stomach, keep it light and breezy and try to stick within your normal routine.
2. Avoid triggers
Most of what drives a dog’s fears are the associations they have made between different scenarios, objects and outcomes. If the last vet visit was a bit disastrous and they got there via their grey metal carrier, guess who’s going to have a freak out the next time you bring the carrier out of the garage? Try and remember what would trigger anxiety in your pet and keep it in sight around the house - this means they won’t see you bringing it out as some signal of horror to come.
Fortunately, your dog won’t have to be triggered by a new vet they’ve never met because, with Oneplan, we let you stay with the vet of your choice.
3. Have snacks on hand
This is just a good rule of thumb in general. If you sense your dog getting a little wriggly, remind them that you are there to serve and protect with a sneaky treat in the car or at the vet's office.
4. Don’t coddle
If you soothe your dog too much, you are only re-enforcing that there is something for them to worry about. Aim for an “everything is under control” demeanour and your dog will follow suit.
5. Smell the stress away
One of the reasons we train dogs to be tracker dogs, guide dogs and emotional support dogs is because of their superior smell. Not only is their smell superior in terms of how humans know and identify smells, but their smell is also more diverse because they use scent to identify human emotions. What sounds like an old wives tale is a solid scientific fact. Dogs can detect our physical reactions to emotions because they can pick up the scent of adrenaline. So when your heart starts pumping blood faster and the hairs on your skin stand up, your dog immediately can smell your fear.
So, because of their strong sense of smell, we can help them calm down through having soothing scents around. Lavender is a great scent to have handy - spray some on their bed, blankets and even on yourself to ease them into going to the vet.
6. Pay upfront (easy with Oneplan)
A huge part of vet-stress is knowing the big bill that follows. One of the best things you can do to reduce your anxiety (and subsequently the anxiety of your pet) over the vet is to know that you are covered financially: you get pet insurance.
If you decide to join the Oneplan family, for example, you and your pet(s) would be protected under a comprehensive policy you just cuddle. Our Classic Pet Plan and Super Pet Plan are two plans (out of four) that immediately cover you for vet visits (routine and emergency). It’s bigger than that, though.
With Oneplan, we pay you BEFORE you see that vet. We know that waiting for claims and paying out of pocket is never fun so we’ve changed the way we do insurance with our clients. When you get a policy with us, you will be sent your own Onecard. This card works seamlessly with our Oneplan App to let you register claims, load funds and tweak your policy as and when you need (we don’t use the word flexible for nothing)
If you’re excited about making stress-free vet visits a thing of the past, chat to one of our consultants or get a live quote here!
Yours in paw-some insurance,