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Doggie Dialogue: Making Vet Visits More Manageable


viisiting the veterinarian

For many dogs, visiting the veterinarian can be stressful, or even downright terrifying! Our furry friends have no way of understanding what’s going on, after all, and not only are they introduced to unfamiliar smells, sounds, people and animals, but sometimes they have to undergo procedures that might be startling or even uncomfortable for them. It’s no wonder that so many pets hate the vet! Unfortunately, though we might just want to give in and avoid the vet altogether, regular health care is important for your dog, and it might be needful for your dog’s doctor to administer a medication or perform a physical examination on your pup. Teaching your dog to stay calm at the vet’s office is an important skill that benefits every dog – and owner, too!

First, you want to start by establishing a positive, consistent and trusting relationship with your dog. A close bond will mean that your dog will feel more secure in your presence, and be more likely to look to you for clues about how to behave. Teaching your furry friend basic obedience commands and getting them accustomed to being handled regularly is also essential – beginning as a puppy, take a few minutes each day to gently examine your dog thoroughly, looking in his ears, mouth, and checking out his paws, belly, and around his tail. If your pup is already familiar with this routine at home (particularly if treats are used to make it fun!) it will be far less frightening when it happens at the vet.

Next, make a point of getting to know the clinic staff and veterinarians on a social level – in other words, visit the vet with your pup often, even when you don’t need to be there for an appointment! During these quick stop-ins, weigh your dog, let him check out the lobby at his leisure, and have the staff give him his favorite treats. Your pup will soon learn to look forward to vet visits once he figures out that coming in doesn’t always mean that something scary happens.

When you do bring your dog in for an actual appointment, try to arrive a few minutes early to let your pup get used to his surroundings at first. Keep him away from other pets and people, especially if he’s nervous, and during the appointment, it can help to distract your dog with some super tasty treats or his favorite toy, too! After everything is done, don’t forget to reward your dog and praise them lavishly for good behavior.

Finally (and maybe most importantly), don’t forget to stay calm yourself. Dogs are extremely sensitive to our own emotions and body language, so if you’re worried and anxious, chances are that your dog will be too. Visiting the vet may sound scary, but by taking a few extra steps to prepare your dog, you’ll make that appointment so much easier – and your vet will appreciate it, too!

Sources: blog.garanimals.com

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