In order to ensure good health of your pup, regular visits to a vet are essential. A visit to a vet can be a nervous experience for your dog if they are not prepared for it. An unprepared visit can be traumatizing and can spike the stress levels of your furballs. However, you can ensure calmness and reduced stress levels by practicing a few habits prior to the visit. This will prepare your dog for the (dreaded) vet visit.
Let's get started with the 5 tips that will make your puppies first trip to the vet a positive experience.
1. Practice makes perfect
During the examination at the vet’s office, the dog may fear and resist being touched by the vet. Especially, during the mouth and paw examination. To make sure that your dog cooperates during the actual examination, you can practice a few things at home.
- Start by petting the dog as you normally would and then slowly and eventually try to have a look inside the mouth.
- You can then feel the ears and the paws as well. Make sure to reward your pup when good behavior is shown.
- Give your puppy yummy treats and verbal praise as well.
By doing this, your dog will get used to being examined and will cooperate at the actual examination.
Lastly, your dog may really not like being picked up. But at the vet’s clinic, the dog may need to picked up a couple times. So, to avoid any resistance or bad behavior, it is best that you practice this at home.
All you need to do is to say the words “pick up” then gently pick up your dog and then reward them once on the ground again. By doing this a few times, you will see that your dog will comfortable with this practice and will not resist it. This will be really helpful at the vet’s clinic.
2. Stay calm and cheerful
Dogs look up to their owners, and the energy or vibe of the owner is transferred to the dog. If you are calm and cheerful then the dog will also be calm and cheerful. However, if you panic or do anything that is out of routine, then it will definitely impact the behavior of the dog. So, it is best to remain calm and happy while going to visit the vet so your dog can also be in a good mood.
3. Use collars, leashes or crates
Even if your puppy is calm and easy to handle, things can end up rough at the vet’s office. This is mainly because, there are likely to be other dogs there too. The interaction with other dogs or pets can cause your dog to panic or to become way too excited. Thus, using collars and leashes to control your dog is a good idea. You can even use a crate specially for a vet’s visit, in order to keep your puppy calm and give them a sense of protection.
One thing that you need to keep in mind is that, if you are only going to use the crate for vet’s clinic or office then it can end up becoming a symbol of stress for your dog Every time, you will pull out a crate the dog will resist it, thinking they are heading to the dreaded vet. Hence, it is essential to introduce the crate as a safe haven for the dog. Try serving food in the crate beforehand so that the dog gets used to it.
4. Take your dog on an empty stomach
Bringing your dog on an empty stomach to the clinic has two major benefits:
1. It is useful in diagnostics
During tests or other medical procedures that need to be carried out, having an empty stomach can be helpful to the vet.
2. You can reward the dog
When your dog shows good behavior or cooperates with you in the vet’s office, you can treat your dog with the favorite treats. This will encourage good behavior.
5. Take a guided tour
Lastly, if you can take some time out from your busy schedule then you may consider taking a trip to the vet’s clinic before the actual appointment. You can help the dog socialize and be aware of the place. The dog will then definitely be more likely cooperate on the actual visit, and won't be so anxious or nervous.
We hope that these five tips will really be helpful for you and your puppy, and you will be all set for the first vet visit. Remember, every dog is different, and some may actual enjoy going to the vet, whilst others will be very hesitant. By carefully observing your dog during the visit you will know how they are feeling and what to do. If you have some further suggestions or ideas, let us know in the comments below!
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