One of the greatest challenges of taking your dog to a veterinary clinic is keeping them calm. Even for the most well-behaved dogs, the sight of a stranger holding a needle can be overwhelmingly scary. To help these appointments go smoothly, try implementing a few of the tips below.
Practice examinations at home.
Help your dog warm up to the concept of being touched everywhere by doing short enactments of pet health exams in the safety of your home. Look at their eyes, ears, teeth, tummy, and tail, offering soothing words and treats the whole time. You might even poke them lightly with a capped pen to simulate getting a shot. Get other family and friends to do the same.
Exercise them before the visit.
As long as your dog isn’t too ill for strenuous physical activity, take them out for a long walk or some playtime at the park shortly before the visit. This will wear them out while putting them in a happy mood, helping them relax at the veterinary clinic.
While you wait, keep your dog occupied by playing a light game of tug-of-war with a sock or hand-feeding them treats. During and after the visit, continue giving them treats as a reward for good behavior.
Only drive your dog to the veterinary clinic.
Many dogs start feeling nervous as soon as they’re put in the car because they typically only get car rides if they’re going to the doctor. Get into the habit of taking your dog to more fun places—like a park or dog-friendly beach—so they learn to look forward to these trips.
See the veterinarian only when something is wrong.
Bring your dog to the veterinary clinic for routine check-ups. After all, if they only see an animal doctor after a traumatic event, they’ll learn to associate the two. Additionally, regular check-ups will give you early warning of any health problems so that they can be treated more easily, further protecting your pet from unnecessary distress.
Give them sedative drugs without the veterinarian’s approval.
There are sprays available laced with pheromones that are advertised as being calming to dogs. In addition, there are tablets containing herbs meant to reduce their anxiety. However, the veterinarian may determine that these items are not appropriate for your dog, so seek their medical advice first.
Looking for a new veterinary clinic where your pet will be more comfortable? Go to Parkview Animal Hospital in Lincoln, NE. No appointment is necessary to take advantage of their state-of-the-art equipment and the skills of their compassionate and supportive staff. With 30 years of experience, they’ll offer everything from simple wellness exams to emergency surgeries, grooming, and preventative care. Learn more about their services online. Call (402) 423-6939 with questions.