Preparing your dog for a vet visit

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The prospect of a visit to the vet clinic can make your dog anxious, scared and even aggressive. It is possible to condition them to feeling positively about their vet check-ups, if you are successful in making their first ever visit to the vet a relaxing experience. A dog who hasn’t had a negative experience their first time to the vet’s is unlikely to feel anxious about revisiting. Keep in mind, that dogs are not comfortable with having their feet, nails, tail and belly touched and moved around. So find a time when they are calm and at ease to take them for their veterinary appointment.

Tips that will make your vet visit easier

These are some ways in which you can make your and your dog’s visit to the vet’s office much less painful –

  • Find a good vet – It is important to find a vet sensitive to the needs of your dog. The vet and staff at the clinic should be experienced in handling nervous and restless dogs.
  • Don’t be anxious – If you’re anxious at having to take your dog to the vet’s, your pet will pick up on your anxiety and feel anxious too. Pretend, if you have to but cloak your anxiety if it’s not possible to calm yourself down.
  • Give your dog a massage – Accustom your dog to a massage that soothes his nerves. Practice this at home and then try it at the vet’s clinic before you have to go in for the check-up. Your dog should be much more relaxed.
  • Add incentives – If you’re taking the dog to a vet, follow the vet visit with a pleasurable activity. So maybe give him a treat, walk him in the park or take him for a swim. If he/she knows that the visit to the vet will be followed by an activity they like, they will be less anxious at the vet’s.
  • Try aromatherapy – Dogs tend to think with their noses. Use the calming scent of lavender and other such stress-relieving scents to relax your dog before a trip to the vet’s office. Spray it in the car or light a candle at home before taking your dog to the vet’s.
  • Provide him with his favorite treats – A good way to distract an anxious dog is to feed him his favorite treats. He will be too occupied with the treats at hand to worry himself about the vet check-up. He is a dog afterall, you can’t expect him to multitask.

So, follow these handful of steps before your vet visit and you and your dog should be fine. Remember, an occasional visit to the vet is important for your dog’s health and should be skipped at no cost.

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