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Posted on 01-20-2017

Gainesville pet owners - Regular veterinary exams are important for all pets to live long, healthy & happy lives! We recommend all pets, even indoor cats and pets that appear healthy, have two exams each year to help us help you identify problems before they become serious.

We realize coming to the veterinarian can be stressful on your pets (and you).  As well, boarding your pets while you travel out of Gainesville can cause anxiety when they are in a new place with unfamiliar sights, sound and smells and grooming can cause stress.

Here are tips to help make your next visit to the vet easier on you and your pet:

  • Kennel/Crate - Introduce your pet to a crate or kennel before it comes time to travel to the vet.
    • Bring the carrier out ahead of time to become accustomed to it. Leave the door of the open so they can explore as they please.  Reward if enters the crate.
    • Go on fun rides and reward with treats during and after.
    • Consider placing stress-reducing products in or around the carrier (see below for our recommendations).
  • Hiding places - Pets might feel safer when they can hide. Provide a blanket in the crate to hide under or to cover and give your pet a sense of protection.
    • Consider placing stress-reducing products on the blankets (see below for our recommendations).
  • Car rides – Place your pet’s crate in the floor of the front seat to provide a visual barrier as well as calming white noise from the engine running.
    • Safety belts specially adapted for dogs are also available.
    • If your pet gets car sick, ask us about strategies to alleviate the symptoms.
  • Practice sessions - Call ahead to our vet clinic to find out when there is a quiet time to visit.
    • Your pet can calmly walk around the building and exam room. Use treats and positive praise with your pet as you tour around.
  • Distractions - Bring favorite treats/toys for reassurance.
  • Come hungry – Pets will be more receptive to treats given at our vet clinic if hungry.

At Shores Animal Hospital or in our online store, we have products such as Zylkene, Solliquin, Feliway and Adaptil that can help during these and other stressful situations (such as storms, fireworks or visitors to your home).  

  • Zylkene is a supplement derived from casein (a protein in milk) that can be given to cats or dogs to help them cope with stress.  Administered as a capsule or mixed with water before or during the stressful period, Zylkene helps increase their ability to cope with change and can reduce their coping mechanisms.  Read more about Zylkene...   
  • Solliquin is a supplement given as a chew (to cats & dogs) or tablet (large dogs) that contains amino acids found in green tea.  Solliquin helps create a sense of mental calmness and relaxation to reduce your pet's stress. 
  • Feliway is a synthetic feline pheromone that mimics a cat’s natural pheromone used to mark their territory as safe and secure.  Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security to help comfort and reassure cats. Multiple products are available including carrier wipes, diffusers and sprays. Get more tips on traveling with cats from Feliway...  
  • Adaptil is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the pheromone mother dogs emit after giving birth to help their puppies feel calm and secure.  Dogs of all ages recognize this pheromone throughout life and Adaptil reduces stress and stress-related behaviors. Multiple products are available including collars, diffusers and sprays. Get more tips for traveling with dogs from Adaptil...

Ask about these products at your next appointment and how they can help calm your pet.

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