Sunnybank Veterinary Clinic (07) 3345 6689

I'm Scared of the Vet

DON’T say the “V” word!!

Come on let’s go to the V…. E…. T

A simple visit to the vet may be stressful to both you and your pet. As pet guardians we may be tempted to put off or cancel a vet visit to avoid this kind of stress.

Luckily it doesn’t have to be this way! No one likes to upset a friend so it is important that we address the issue and support your pet with the help of your veterinary team.

We can appreciate that people of the four legged nature see the world a bit differently than we do. Sight, sound, and smell rule their worlds and sometimes a friendly pat or loving voice is not enough to calm their nerves. So how can you help? Here are a few tips and tricks to entice your pet and have them waiting at the door to visit their Doctor and nurses!


Don’t be embarrassed, lots of people share the same experience as you when they visit us. Let the friendly team know that your best friend is a bit nervous. This way we can make your appointment at a more suitable time. You may prefer to visit when there is less likely to be other animals in the waiting room, or wait in your car until “the coast is clear”. We can also prepare ourselves to comfort your pet.


The shock of seeing new faces can be a new experience for some pets. This may be making the trip to the vet unnerving. Attending puppy preschool at the start of your dog’s journey is a great way of getting them used to other animals, people, and the veterinary environment (many vet clinics run Puppy classes). Introduce your kitten to lots of different people and perhaps even some supervised visits with cat friendly pooches.


You’re going to put that thermometer WHERE? Your pet may not be used to having their paws, belly, mouth, ears, and eyes and bottom touched and examined. Practising with your pet at home to get used to being touched will prepare them for a visit. Make a habit of playing with your pet’s ears, paws, and mouth in the comfort of your home so that it isn’t such a new experience at your consultation. Make sure your reward him/her for accepting touch.


You CAN teach old dogs new tricks. If you missed puppy preschool there’s still hope. Try visiting local dog parks or beaches where you know you will meet some new friends. Don’t force your pet to say hello and be sure to reward them for friendly encounters with pats, kind words and perhaps the odd treat. They will be frolicking in no time!


Some cats may be easily spooked during the trip to and from the clinic. Covering your cat’s carry cage with a blanket can often calm your cat’s nerves as they can’t see what is happening around them.


Don’t need to see the vet? That’s ok if your friend tends to be a bit nervous when visiting us why not pop in for a hello and a cuddle from a friendly face. We can never get enough cuddle time so the nurses are more than happy to give them the attention they need to shift their fear. Making a trip to the vet enjoyable is important to shift fears associated with the occasion. A friendly cuddle instead of a sneaky needle / thermometer can be enough to win your best mate over.


Take it slow; changing the way your pet perceives a veterinary trip may take time and perseverance. It is important that you and your pet have a stress free and enjoyable visit to us. Your Sunnybank Veterinary family are here to help and support you both to reach your goals.

Jo Tolley , Qualified Veterinary Nurse