Whilst many pets will bounce happily through the clinic doors for each visit, others may feel neutral or anxious about anticipated veterinary treatments.
A pet’s resilience to unfamiliar or challenging situations will be governed by their natural genetics (with some pets being more prone to anxiety), early socialisation, and ongoing experiences.
Whilst you can’t change your pet’s genetics, you can maximise their ability to cope well through good socialisation, training, and ongoing behavioural support.
The most sensitive socialisation period (where pets are most open to learning about new people, animals, and environments) is roughly 3-16 weeks old in puppies and 3-9 weeks in kittens. When a pet receives a variety of positive experiences in this period, they are more likely to be confident and friendly as an adult and adapt quickly to unfamiliar situations.
Consult our team regarding the safest ways to socialise your pet before they have completed their puppy/kitten vaccination course.
From a young age, try to practice “examining” your pet daily, whereby you check their teeth, open their mouth, handle their paws, lift their tail, etc., with frequent treats to reward calm behaviour. Examination practice will increase the likelihood that they are comfortable with general veterinary handling and procedures.
With many pets only being brought to the veterinary clinic for injections, desexing, or illnesses, it is no wonder they may begin to develop negative associations with the place!
Try to bring your pet for “happy visits”, where you get them in purely for them to receive treats and pats from our (very willing!) support staff.