Fear-Free Vet Visits

How we take the stress out of a visit to the vets

Watch Vanessa explain how to make a trip to the vet less scary for your pet.

Going to the vets can really take your pet out of their comfort zone. But there are lots of things you can do to reduce this fear and make them feel relaxed and calm.


The most important thing is – don’t be a stranger to your vet’s practice. The more times they visit the practice, the more familiar it will be.


If you can take your pets to visit when they aren’t being treated, they will start to view it as simply a trip out.

What about if you have a cat?

With cats, you should start preparing well before your vet visit. Don’t just get the carrier out on the morning of the vet visit. If you have room, leave the carrier out up to a month before, so your cat can play and sleep in it.


Make their cat carrier as comfortable as possible, with familiar blankets and toys.

Pheromones can help

Feliway spray contains pheromones which act as reassuring messages to your cat. As a consequence, they help calm your cat and control undesirable behaviour. Humans can’t detect it but cats can. Use Feliway spray to spray the cat carrier, and the scent will have a calming effect. You can spray the carrier at home and in the vets waiting room.

Adaptil spray is a similar product but for dogs.

On the day of the visit

Leave plenty of time to get to the practice. Don’t rush. If you are stressed then your pet will get stressed. Keep your own anxiety in check as pets can pick up on this. Speak more slowly and soothingly to your pet and if possible add personal touches such as bringing your pet’s favourite toy and blanket.

Treats can be useful but avoid these if your pet might require an empty stomach for an anaesthetic. You might also find that if you limit food beforehand, treats are more effective.

If your pet likes fresh air, waiting outside or staying in the car rather than in the vet’s waiting room can help reduce stress.

We also have separate dog and cat wards for inpatients and we use pheromone diffusers throughout our waiting areas, consultation rooms and inpatient wards.

Meow-sic and Bach

Please excuse the terrible pun, however, another important tip is playing music which has been scientifically designed to relieve stress in dogs and cats, we use these in our kennels and cat wards to soothe patients in recovery.

You can download stress relieving music and soundscape albums to relax your pets – we use these in our practices.

Calming music for dogs:

Stress relieving music for cats

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