A trip to your dog’s vet can be a stressful event or an easy event. There are a few simple tips you can follow to make your visit more successful and less stressful! By working on the following, your dog will be happier and healthier and you will be as well!
Teach your dog to accept handling of his feet, eyes, mouth, toes and tail.
Regular sessions of rubbing his toes and nails, peering into his eyes and mouth and lifting his tail will help him accept handling from the vet when he is examined.
Take special treats and ask the technician and the vet to treat your dog while he is examined.
This will help your dog have a positive association with the vet and his/her staff, and not just see them as the scary people in white coats.
If your dog finds close proximity to other dogs stressful, do not wait in the lobby with him!
Either wait outside and let your pup wander around on leash or ask to be placed into an examination room immediately upon your arrival. This will prevent your dog from being in a high state of arousal/anxiety when he goes into the examination room and then unable to handle an exam.
Teach your dog “place” on a comfortable blanket or bathmat.
Once he or she is comfortable with this command and the soft blanket or bathmat as the “place”, take it with you to the vet. Toss it on the ground and reinforce with treats or petting to help him relax.
Is your dog socially challenged?
Does he require a muzzle to be handled in the veterinarian office?
Ask your vet to sell you the type of muzzle they commonly use. Then, when at home, desensitize your dog to wearing the muzzle very slowly and when he or she is calm. You can start by filling the muzzle with treats so the pup puts his face in calmly. Gradually work your way to attaching the collar straps behind his neck, treating the whole time. Once you can attach it on, immediately remove it and then gradually increase the time he is comfortable wearing the muzzle. Now you will have a dog who can wear the muzzle calmly and calmly wear it into the vet office. He will be less stressed and easier to treat or exam, an important factor in how well your vet can treat and diagnosis issues.