No wonder our pets do not like vet visits, and some dogs are terrified of them. The cause of stress is not only the unpleasant smells of the clinic, other animals crowded in the waiting room or the vision of treatments. Dogs also feel the tension of the guardian! But how can we not stress, knowing that when the office door opens, we will have a fight (or at least a scuffle) with our pet, who has no intention of putting himself in the hands of a stranger? In addition, many ailments with which we go to a canine specialist are accompanied by pain. Then, gently picking up a sick pooch to put him on the table can cause him suffering. In this situation, even a gentle cuddly toy can defend itself with biting! The more alert dogs learn quickly which way to the vet, and they refuse to cooperate after just a few steps … But if you want your dog to enjoy long-term health, he needs to visit the vet regularly. How can I help him with that?
The vet is a must
Even the healthiest pooch should visit the vet at least once a year for mandatory rabies vaccination. Older quadrupeds should also have periodic blood tests that will detect diseases and facilitate their quick recovery. How to make the visit to the clinic a little more pleasant for a stressed-out dog? Here are some practical tips.
A dog at the vet – remember that!
This is not the place to meet colleagues!
Keep your dog on a short leash in the waiting room. Don’t let him attack sick and stressed animals!
The pooch’s health is the most important thing.
Even if your dog is stressed by visiting a veto, when it becomes ill, take it to the clinic as soon as possible. Don’t put off your visit!
Never shout at a pooch!
Stressed dogs do things that are unacceptable to us, e.g. they may try to bite. But disciplining them only makes things worse!
Dog at the vet – how to help him?
Below are some great tips to help your stressed dog survive the visit to the vet.
1. Take the treats and reward the dog for being polite.
Not every stressed pooch will look at the morsel offered to him. However, if your pet is an exceptional gourmand, reward him for appropriate behavior in the waiting room, polite standing on the table or a calm injection. Do not require your dog to follow commands before giving him the reward – just enduring the vet’s touch as something worth a treat! Just remember that before some treatments (e.g. before blood sampling) you must not feed your pooch! Give him the reward after the procedure.
2. Support the dog in these difficult times.
In a stressful situation, such as visiting the vet, the guardian is the greatest support for the dog. Don’t ignore your nervous pet! Already while sitting in the waiting room, show him that you are here together and that nothing bad will happen to you. Calmly stroking your pooch, praising him for his good behavior and letting him hug you tightly will help him get through the hard times. Even if you don’t see the immediate effects, your quadruped feels your presence and support!
3. Disenchant the route to the clinic!
Does your pooch know perfectly well which road leads to the vet, and from the very first steps he bends down and pulls towards the house? The best way to do this is to use this route during everyday walks, so that it does not associate with an unpleasant visit, and even foreshadows a super trip! At first, it will be difficult to convince your pet that there is nothing to fear. Try to distract him by playing or looking for flavors in the grass together. You can also develop a different route to the clinic and make it pleasant for your dog from the beginning.
4. Don’t make the visit to the vet a big deal!
Most dogs do not need the company of their entire family at the clinic. Too many people can excite your pet too much or make him confused. Focusing on the company of other people can also distract you and make you forget to tell the doctor about something important. The offices are also not large enough to accommodate a few unnecessary people. If you absolutely need someone else’s company for your own peace of mind, take a calm adult with you!
5. Put a muzzle on your dog if you are asked to do so.
Even if your pooch is the epitome of gentleness, put a muzzle on him when asked. Even the friendliest pet, under the influence of pain, can bite in self-defense. Putting on a muzzle can be stressful for your dog. So let’s practice it in quieter conditions, such as at home. You can teach your dog that he gets a special treat for putting his muzzle in a muzzle. Accepting a muzzle will also come in handy on the bus or train, so it’s worth getting some exercise!