Humans are dogs’ best friends… Wait! Did I say all human? Well, not all humans, especially not veterinarians. It is so apparent; dogs hate vet visits. It is a dreadful experience for them- getting poked, prodded and receiving vaccines injections can be upsetting. The visits deprive them of the daily fan routine and introduce them to strange environments with weird scents. Even though regular check-ups are critical for your dog’s health, they can also stress the dog. They could even get messy, and you certainly would not want that. Here are a few tips that can help de-stress your dog during vet visits and avoid messy and embracing situations with your dog.
- Reward good behavior
Ensure you carry light and nice treats for your dog during vet visits, and while at the waiting room, keep rewarding your dog. It creates positive reinforcement and encourages good behaviour during vet visits. When I have a dog in for the residential dog training program I believe in reward and consequence. It works.
- Exercise before visits
Physical exercise helps to manage your dog’s behaviors, keeps it happy and healthy. Exercises before vet visits are meant to tier your dog, ensuring that they remain calm and relaxed during check-ups. The foundation of all my residential dog training programs is the structured k
- Visit the vet for fun
This is a form of desensitization training. Regular and fun visits to the vet will help your dog adjust to the new surroundings. Over time, your dog will create a positive association with the building, the scent and your vet.
- Keep your dog occupied
If you find that your dog often gets nervous while at the vet’s place, you should consider keeping them occupied. For instance, you can bring along their favourite toys. They provide it with a familiar scent and comfort in the new environment.
- Practice car rides
It would be best to teach your dog that car rides do not always end up at the vet’s place. Take your dog to fan places. This way, it will learn to disassociate car rides with vet appointments. I use this technique when I have dogs in my residential dog training programme.
- Use anxiety aids
If your dog does not respond to any of the tips above, you can use calming supplements. For instance, you can use calming spray scent such as chamomile or lavender to ensure they remain calm and comfortable at the vet.
- Find a house call vet
If your dog is wildly anxious during vet appointments, it necessary that you consider house call vet services. Most dogs are calm in the comfort of their homes.
Most importantly, you should desist from using punitive measures to counter your dog’s anxiety problem; it will only worsen the situation.