Does your dog start shaking as soon as you pull into the vet’s parking lot? You’re not alone. Many dogs feel anxious about going to the vet, whether it’s from a bad past experience or general stress around new environments and handling by strangers.
The good news is there are steps you can take to help prepare your pup for a more positive vet visit. Check out these top 5 tips to set your dog up for veterinary success:
Familiarize Your Dog with the Vet Clinic
One of the best things you can do is bring your dog to the vet clinic for brief, positive visits to help them acclimate. Call your vet and ask if you can stop by occasionally for treats and gentle pets from the staff so your dog associates the clinic with good things.
You can also walk around exam rooms and get them comfortable with the smells and sounds. The more familiar the environment, the less stressed your dog will feel.
Practice Vet Exams at Home
Get your dog used to the types of handling that occurs during vet exams by mimicking it at home. Gently touch their paws, ears, mouth, and hips while praising them. Brush their fur, clip their nails, and inspect their teeth with lots of treats. Opening their eyelids and rubbing their belly also helps desensitize them.
Doing mini mock exams and rewarding cooperation prepares your dog for the real deal. It also allows you to spot any sore spots your vet should know about.
Crate Train Your Dog
Dogs feel much more secure and comfortable in a crate rather than loose in the car and vet clinic. Proper crate training your dog ahead of time is highly beneficial. Feed them meals in the crate and give them special toys inside. Start with short sessions and slowly build up to longer crating periods.
A crate-trained dog settles easier on car rides, waits less stressfully, and leaves happier after their vet visit.
Schedule First Thing in the Morning
Trying to schedule your dog’s check-up early in the morning before the clinic gets busy helps minimize chaos. There will be less dogs barking in the waiting room, and staff will be less rushed. Your dog will feel calmer during the appointment and exit before the frenzy hits.
Morning vet visits are less overwhelming for pups. A quiet exam room would be a bonus if the vet could take them immediately.
Don’t Feed Right Before the Appointment
It’s best not to feed your dog within 2-3 hours of their vet visit. For some dogs, eating too soon before the car ride or exam can cause nausea. An empty stomach allows the vet to palpate their abdomen without discomfort as well.
Bring along tasty treats to use as positive reinforcement instead. Afterward, you can celebrate with a nice meal at home.
Preparing your dog thoroughly before vet visits prevents stress and anxious behavior during their appointment. Getting them comfortable with the clinic, basic handling, crating, morning visits, and not eating beforehand sets them up for veterinary success.
With these tips, your dog can learn to perceive the vet as a positive experience where everyone stays relaxed. Don’t hesitate to discuss anxiety concerns with your vet as well – they have many great suggestions to help dogs feel at ease.
Make Vet Visits a Breeze for Your Furry Friend
Does your dog dread vet visits? At Hofmann Veterinary Clinic, we’ve got the top 5 tips to change that. Familiarize your pup with our clinic, practice exams at home, crate train, schedule morning appointments, and skip that pre-visit meal. We prioritize your pet’s comfort and well-being, offering a welcoming facility and friendly service. Transform anxiety into ease with Hofmann Veterinary Clinic.
Schedule a vet visit with Hofmann Veterinary Clinic and experience the difference in pet care.