If you have a pet that is aggressive when it visits your veterinarian, there are certainly steps you can take to minimise problems.
Preventing Aggression before it starts – Conditioning
With young pups or kittens, the first visit to the veterinarian is vital in many regards. Not only will the new pet be fully examined and vaccinated too, but at this visit, the seeds of content can be sown to ensure that your pet and vet get on well together from that time on.
Firstly, make an appointment at a time when your vet will be least busy because that will allow your vet to spend more time getting to know your pet. Don’t be surprised if a fair bit of cuddling and smooching occurs (with your pet!), as meeting young pups and kittens is one of the most pleasurable jobs for any veterinarian.
Most vets will have a container of snacks available which they will use to buy your pet’s affections. There is nothing immoral or unethical about that. They are only making this and subsequent visits even more pleasurable for the pet and you.
For small puppies and for kittens, it is a good idea to take your pet to the vet in a carry cage as the cage can be made into your pet’s ‘peace palace’. In preparation for this visit, get your pet conditioned to the cage. Place some bedding in the cage and then feed your pet in there at least three to four times in the few days before the visit. Also, lock the pet in the carry cage for five or ten minutes several times before the visit to get the pet used to it. When putting it in the cage, feed it some special titbits of food or give it a Kong Ball, smeared with vegemite or peanut butter for pups or fish paste or liverwurst for kittens. This will engender in the pets a feeling of happiness, serenity and peace connected with being in the cage.
In this manner, you have a ‘portable pleasure palace of peace’ and when taken to the vet in the carry cage, the pet will be happier and more relaxed.
If your vet conducts a Puppy Preschool or a Kitty Kindergarten, then there is no better way to socialise your pet to the vet’s clinic and to teach it the social skills needed by modern day pets.
Contents of next page (membership required)
1. Handling Aggressive Animals.
2. Praising the correct behaviour.
3. How you can sedate your pet and whether or not it is safe to do so.