Basic Pet Gear Dos and Don’ts for Your Next Vet Visit


Don't… unnecessarily expose every other vet patron to your pet’s understandably wanton disregard for remaining contained.

Keep that carrier closed up tight until you’re in the exam room with all doors shut behind you.

Do… select a carrier that’s best for your cat(s).

There’s a huge range of carrier options out there — from soft-sided and plushy to rigid and plastic, open and meshy to dark and hidey-hole-ish. There are so many options, in fact, that this topic deserves its own post.

Do… consider boxing your dog, too.

Got an unwieldy, unpredictable, scared or aggressive dog? Is he small enough to fit in a carrier? Forget the leash. Sometimes it’s better to go for the box (or bag) instead!

Don't… (ever!) put your pets at risk by failing to contain them properly.

Dog collar

Basic Training

Though it's not exactly "gear," it's definitely a tool.

Don't… skip basic training so your dog knows how to mind his manners.

Every pet is likely to be stressed out in a veterinary waiting room, but that stress can almost always be mitigated by basic training.

Do… know what de-stresses your pets best so by the time you enter the exam room your pets aren’t all teeth and claws.

Sit,” “stay” and “look at me” are commands I can always count on to de-stress my dogs when they’re out in public in an uncomfortable situation. Toys help, too. And for my cats? One cat is happy enough as long as I supply treats and catnip (offered every 15 minutes or so). The others require the darkest carrier in the world (I cover it with a towel). I have lots of other pet calming tips, but that’s another post altogether.

Remember, the best pet stuff is not so much about making your vet’s day easier (though we appreciate that, too). Rather, it has far more to do with your pets’ safety and comfort.

Got any more gear selections for better vet visits? I’d love to hear about them.


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