Just like humans, dogs feel restrained when given vaccinations. They even have to experience the unlikable prodding. It doesn't matter how gentle the vet is, a visit to the pet clinic is full of anxiety for your pet.
The aim of this post is to help lower this anxiety as much as possible.
Here are a few ways to ensure that the visits are pleasant.
- Don't Show the Signs
Whether or not you know it, dogs are extremely good at building the chain of events over time. They can relate to the cause and effect quite comfortably. So, even if you've not spoken a word about your scheduled visit to the veterinarian, they may already know about it.
How? Because of your unintentional signals. Dogs can recall and relate to the smallest of things if they have been in similar situations before. For example, when you say your and his name on the phone when taking an appointment, he will connect the dots and figure out that a visit to the vet is in the offing.
- Choose the Vet Carefully
It is imperative to choose a veterinarian who connects with your pet. If you have a dog, it is always better to choose a vet with extensive experience, specifically in treating dogs. A veterinary physician who makes your pet comfortable instead of examining insensitively is always a better choice.
Your being by the dog's side is also a show of support to him. Just like kids, dogs need the comforting touch of their parents assuring them that you're with them.
- Try Using Treats
Keep your dog's favorite treat reserved only for vet visits. The treat trick works wonders, irrespective of the breed or the age of the dog. Every time you visit the vet, pamper your pet with a yummy treat, post the check up. It will cheer your pet. You can even use the treat reward at the time of entering the clinic. Any kind of positive reinforcement can help to keep him calm for a while.
- Practice at Home
Some activities associated with vet visits are terrifying for your dog. Standing on the weighing scale, for example, is a horrifying task for most of them. Similarly, squeezing their legs, touching their ears, feeling their chest or stomach can scare most pets. Practice these actions at home every once in a while, to familiarize him with them in the security of your comforting hands. This way, he will fret less when the vet does it.
- Visit the Vet Often
Regularly visiting the veterinarian's clinic is a great way of easing the anxiety of your dog. Call up your dog's clinic and ask them if you can just stop by to say hi or for a treat.
A visit to the vet's clinic without any unpleasant happenings gives your dog a chance to be comfortable with the environment. Most vets recommend and are happy to oblige you with such visits.
It is extremely important for the dog to see the vet as a friend. You can also try calling the vet to your home. This way it'll be easier for the dog to get accustomed to him.
- Keep Yourself Calm
You are your dog's guardian. If the dog senses that you're nervous about going to, his anxiety is likely to increase. Avoid over-cuddling your pet and talk normally. Dogs can sense your edginess and begin to wonder if there is something to worry about. Remember, you've to handle yourself coolly to keep your dog composed.
Things You Can Do When Taking Your Dog to the Vet
Try to book the early morning slot for your appointment with the vet. It helps reduce the wait time, thus, the anxiety.
- If your pet is not a regular car traveler and most of his car trips end at the vet's clinic, he is more likely to get anxious. Increase your pet's general car drives and on the day of the appointment, leave early to ensure a smooth ride.
- You might've heard about dog parents dealing with cases of scarring from dog bites. This can happen if your dog gets extremely stressed and anxious. Even if you take good care of your normally calm dog, the lack of preparation and traumatic vet visits can frustrate them. If you feel your dog is extremely anxious about the vet visit, ask the vet to prescribe a calming medicine for the pet before taking him there.
- Be patient with your pet. A vet visit is a time of nervousness and it may lead to irritating behavior on the dog's part. Be patient and handle the situation gently.
Even though a vet visit can be stressful for your dog, it isn't something that is impossible to handle well. Staying calm and helping your dog remain unruffled is crucial to a productive vet visit. The sooner you prepare him for the session, the better your dog can woof his way out of the impending anxiety.