Last Wednesday Robin and I were dropping off a wonderful Great Dane named Junior to his owner in Lawrenceville.  Junior had just finished a ten day Board and Train program with us and he was a great house guest and excellent student.  We reviewed all of our work with our client and he was amazed and Junior’s great behavior and happy demeanor. As we were finishing up, he mentioned that Junior had an appointment with his Vet in the next few days and that it was always a challenge to get him there and then to be calm while at the hospital.  He wondered if there were any tips we could give him to help make the Vet visit easy and not a major challenge…

We applauded him for being a great dog owner.  We emphasized that visiting your veterinarian is very important in keeping your dog’s health. It is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. A routine visit to the Vet Hospital can often be a distressing time for your dog.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you consider what a vet visit entails, you will start to appreciate why your dog may become so overwhelmed and disoriented when he is there. Not only will he encounter dozens of new smells, but he may also hear barking dogs, meowing cats, and strange voices. Your dog will be handled by the vet techs in unusual ways that will make him nervous.

We would like to give you some tips to help your dog to enjoy his vet hospital experience:

  • Take your dog to the vet hospital for short visits before to your appointment. Socialize him to the clinic when it is quiet to get him used to the smells and sounds of the new environment so it won’t be entirely unknown to him when you actually go for your appointment. Let him meet all the people who work there; have the staff give him a treat and place him on a scale, and allow him to sniff around the examination room. A few visits like this will help him understand that the vet clinic with a positive experience.
  • You can help your dog become comfortable with being handled for a medical examination while at home. Gently pat him on different areas of his body while he is in a relaxed state. Mimic how the vet will examine your dog — touch around his eyes and ears, calmly grasp his feet and toes (which also helps minimize his fear of nail clipping), lift his lips and touch his teeth, gently move his legs, etc. Take your time with this kind of touch, and do it often so that it becomes an enjoyable experience for your dog both at home and at the vet.
  • Some dogs never go anywhere in the car except to the vet. Because of this, your dog may begin to associate a car ride with visiting the vet. This may cause him to become anxious the moment you put him in the car. To prevent this anxiety, go for some drives to anywhere. I suggest that you take him somewhere that he enjoys so he learns that a ride in the car can end in a pleasurable destination.
  • Exercise your dog before the vet visit. A tired dog is more relaxed and easier to manage.
  • Always stay relaxed and unconcerned while you are with him at the Vet Hospital. Your dog can sense your feelings, and you need to remain calm so he can feel calm. Remember, your dog looks to you for his safety and security.
  • Keep your dog on a short leash while in the waiting area, Be sure to maintain control of him throughout your visit to avoid any stress, injury or issues with other pets. If your dog shows any sign of aggression towards dogs or humans, be sure to have a muzzle on him while at the vet hospital.
  • If you have a small dog, take him into the clinic in his carrier. He’ll feel more comfortable being in a familiar space.  Put his favorite blanket and some toys in his carrier to help properly direct his focus.
  • After the vet visit, take your dog somewhere fun to play and to reward him.

Your veterinarian and clinic staff will also appreciate you taking the time to ensure your dog is calm and comfortable during his visit.

We encourage you to call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help.  We have more dog training tips at Best Dog Trainers Lawrenceville Georgia.  Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Lawrenceville Georgia.