We all know that most cats aren’t huge fans of riding in cars, or going to the vets. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but typically, cats don’t love being in carriers. Dr. Jane Brunt offers some tips for how to make cats more comfortable with carriers in her Podcast with AVMA.
Her first suggestion is to make sure that your carrier is appropriately sized for your cat. It should be large enough for your cat to stand up and turn around, but small enough that they feel secure. A carrier that is too big will make a cat feel less secure and can also be harmful during transportation to the vet.
Her second piece of advice is to make sure that the cat is used to the carrier. The carrier shouldn’t be hidden away in the basement or garage, and only taken out when you’re headed to the vet. The carrier should be out and open in an area where the cat has full access to it at all times. This way, the cat doesn’t associate the carrier with being in the car or going to the vet.
Having the carrier as a part of the cat’s environment will help the cat feel more comfortable at the vet because the carrier will be a place of comfort for them. Another way to help your cat feel more comfortable is to make sure that the carrier has something comfortable for the cat to lay on. This should be a bed or towel that smells like the cat, or you. This way your cat will be used to the carrier and will have something that smells familiar.
Another tip is to actively work with your cat to make them comfortable with their carrier. Reward them with treats or food any time they go near or inside their carrier. You can use toys to entice them to use their carrier in the beginning, this will help them associate some of their favorite things with the carrier. The key is positive reinforcement!
What should you do if your cat has already had a bad experience with a carrier? Start from scratch! Get a different type of carrier and leave it out. Plan ahead, too. Make sure that you get your cat their new carrier weeks before you actually have to use it. Once you pick out their new carrier, bring it home and put something that smells like them in the carrier and leave the carrier in a non-threatening area. Follow the advice above to help your feline friend get used to their new carrier!
This will help your cat associate the new carrier with home, and a comfortable space, instead of a scary cage they have to be crammed into once a year to come to see the vet.
The most important take away is to get your cat used to their carrier. Move their carrier to a place in your home where they can access it at all times. This will help them view their carrier as a hideout or bed, instead of something strange and scary. Make sure interaction with their carrier is frequent and positive. This will help ease their tension about coming to the vet!
Now that we are settled into our new location we are excited to announce we are hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 16, 2017 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm!
You will be able to tour our new hospital facility, meet some of our staff, view X-Rays and demonstrations in our dental suite. You will be able to play games for prizes, learn about pet food from representatives as well as buy raffle tickets for our many gift baskets!
Raffle tickets are on sale for $5 per ticket, cash or check only. They can be purchased before the open house or the day of. The raffle baskets available are:
#1- *Just for Owners Raffle Basket
#2- Nexgard Large Dog Raffle Basket
#3- Nexgard Small Dog Raffle Basket
#4- Frontline Cat Raffle Basket
#5- Cat Treat Raffle Basket
#6- Dog Treat Raffle Basket
#7- Pet Adventure First Aid Kit
#8- Waterproof Action Camera
#9- 12 months Triheart Plus- Heartworm & Parasite Preventative
#10- 12 months Bravecto- Flea & Tick Preventative
#11- 6 months of FREE Dog Food- Purina
#12- 6 months of FREE Dog Food- Hill's
#13- 6 months of FREE Cat Food- Purina
#14- 6 months of FREE Cat Food- Hill's
#15- Free Annual Exam & Free Vaccinations for Cat
#16- Free Annual Exam & Free Vaccinations for Dog
#17- Free Dog Bloodwork Panel
#18- Free Cat Bloodwork Panel
We hope to see you there!
Change can be nerve-wracking and exhilarating all at once. Here at ORAH we are growing more and more excited about our impending move to a new location. Many of our patients’ families seem excited too—we get asked about the move every day!
As much as we hate to leave the charm and history of our old dairy barn, there are some practical reasons why moving makes sense. Most importantly, we’ve known for a long time that we’ve outgrown the available space. When a patient has to wait longer than we’d like to see us, it’s usually because we don’t have a room available. Also, for a medical facility, there are obvious challenges in terms of heating, cooling and ventilating the space to our liking throughout the seasons. We know parking can be a challenge too, even though we’ve expanded the small lot a couple of times. Finally, for years we have wanted our building to be more accessible, to families and patients both. We love our porch but having stairs to climb simply to get in the building can be a challenge for some. With the small floor space in our entrance area, we haven’t been able to add an ADA compliant restroom. All these details will be corrected in our new location!
In addition to improving so many practical things with our move, we are even more excited about what the move will mean for our patients. There is a current shift in veterinary medicine towards creating a fear-free practice. Reducing the anxiety and stress some of our patients feel when visiting us is one of our most important goals right now. Some of what stresses our patients happens at the level of the facility—noises, odors, and face-to-face meetings with other patients can be anxiety triggers for some pets. While we want our entrance area to be a welcoming place where friends can cross paths, greet neighbors, even have a cup of coffee, we want our patients to have the space they need.
In our new facility, cats will have their own nook, away from curious dog noses. Dogs who enjoy other dogs can still say hello, but those who find other dogs threatening or who grow more worried around new people will be able to enter their exam rooms directly from a side door. On the rare occasions we need to take a patient to another spot to finish a procedure, we will have a quiet room that is not in the busiest part of the hospital. Examination rooms will offer treats for dogs and cats, pheromone sprays designed to reduce stress, and safe ways for cats to climb and “hide.”
When our new facility is ready, we will offer an Open House with a tour to explain all these exciting changes. Please visit www.fearfreepets.com to learn more about the theories behind a fear-free veterinary practice. Look for more information here in the future about what families, our veterinarians, and our staff can do as a team to reduce a pet’s stress at visiting the doctor!
Our new sign is up, and it's time to make an official announcement! Onion River Animal Hospital will be moving to our new location this summer! Our new hospital, located at 2386 Airport Road, Berlin, VT, is in the process of being remodeled!
Our new location will allow us to better serve our clients and patients! Stay tuned for progress pics and the official opening date!