It is estimated that between 30 and 50% of pet owners find a trip to the veterinarian's office stressful - largely because they believe that their dog or cat does not like going to the vet. Pets that fear the veterinarian's office can often react as if in a state of crisis. They may become very difficult to handle and may react in an aggressive manner. This can create a great deal of stress for all involved, and can present a danger to whomever is needing to approach or provide care to that pet. Furthermore, a pet with fear aggression at the veterinarian's office - because of the difficulty in working or handling the patient - may ultimately receive less complete medical care than it needs.

With better planning, a trip to the veterinarian's office can be less stressful (veterinary professionals can learn more in Fear of the Veterinary Clinic and Veterinary Procedures). One tip that can have a measurable impact on a pet's experience is to utilize food or treats to help and shift the emotional response of a fearful pet in the veterinary setting. Pet owners can consider bringing a pet's favorite food or treats along to the visit. Other food items that can be considered:

For dogs: squeeze cheese, hot dog bits, bacon bits, pill pockets, deli meats, whipped cream ("all natural" kind in the can), freeze dried salmon or chicken

For cats: anchovy paste, pill pockets, deli meats, tuna, bonito flakes, kitten food, freeze dried shrimp, all types of cheese, whipped cream ("all natural" kind in the can), hot dog bits, bacon bits, cat nip (only if you already know patient is calmed by it), freeze dried salmon or chicken, Laxatone

Here are tips for using food to fight fear: