Does your dog put the brakes on when you get to the vets office where you have to drag her inside? Going to the vet doesn’t need to be a stressful time for your dog.
In early puppyhood we have the opportunity to create a positive experience for our pup at the vet clinic yet many of us don’t use this very opportune time to acclimate our puppy so that going to the vet can actually be fun for your dog.
When the pup is still young, go in and get your puppy weighed once a week. It’s a good idea to keep an eye how much or how little your pup is gaining in her first year but equally as important is to create fear free vet visits for life. When you go in for a weight check ask to bring your pup into a room and get a treat from a technician with lots of puppy loving and go home. Next time, put your pup on the exam table, get a treat from a loving technician and go home. Each time you can do a little more like ask the vet to come in and say hi, treat and off the table and home again. Your pup will be pulling you to the door instead of putting the breaks on.
You can even go as far as asking when a quiet time at the office is and bring your pup in, leave her with a tech for 2 min while you go to the bathroom during which time your pup is being lavished with love and treats so your absence isn’t even noticed.
Setting your puppy up to win at the vets office will go a long way when your pup is actually not feeling well and will have a sense of trust and joy going to the vet instead of dread and fear.
If you have an older dog you can still do these things yet it may take more visits, especially if there is a major fear but don’t give up. Take the time with any dog at any age to help your dog become fearless when going to see the vet. You can turn any dog around with time and patience. Your dog and your vet will appreciate all the time you spend helping your dog have fear free vet visits.
It is a well known fact that when dogs are sick and unable to be with loved ones they don’t recover as well. Imagine your dog being sick yet loving the vet’s office. Being more than familiar with and knowing the staff will make being sick much easier and this will have YOU less worried .
In this illustration by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings, you’ll see a dog on the exam table yawning. Yawning is a calming signal. It’s one of the ways dogs communicate that she is a bit anxious.
When you take your puppy to the vet, bring along the Dog Decoder app to see what your pup is communicating to you so that you can see where you need to work with her to make her feel more secure and enjoy going there instead of being afraid.