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Calming "Pre-Meds" for Vet Visits and Anesthetic Procedures

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Nervous pets (and excited ones!) are entitled to a calming medication to ease the stress of a vet visit or procedure.

When you or I go to our doctor, we generally know what to expect and can mitigate our unease by communicating with our provider and the staff in the office.

Our pets cannot anticipate the process of their vet visits (unless they happen frequently) or ask questions, of course, so they naturally become anxious. Their anxiety is uncomfortable and also can inhibit their care by artificially elevating temperature, blood pressure, and heartrate as well as reducing their general compliance. We recommend anxiolytic medications to reduce stress for our well patients. Not only does this make their visit more pleasant, but it can be beneficial in assessing their health, potentially reducing the amount of anesthetic agents used to achieve an appropriate plane for surgeries, as well as making them a more tolerant participant in their care with our technical staff.

Pets that are given anxiolytic medications prior to anesthetic procedures can in some cases be given lower doses of anesthetics, which allows for a lower anesthetic dose and thus a lower anesthetic risk.

If you believe your pet would benefit from an anxiolytic medication for an upcoming visit or procedure, please follow this link to request.


1. Murphy, L.A., Barletta, M., Graham, L.F., Reichl, L.J., Duxbury, M.M. & Quandt, J.E. (2017). Effects of acepromazine and trazodone on anesthetic induction dose of propofol and cardiovascular variables in dogs undergoing general anesthesia for orthopedic surgery. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 250(4), 408–416. DOI:

2. Hoffman, E.A., Aarnes, T.K., Ricco Pereira, C.H., Lerche, P., Bednarski, R.M. & McLoughlin, M.A. (2018). Effect of oral trazodone on the minimum alveolar concentration of isoflurane in dogs. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. 45(6), 754–759. DOI:

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