How to Help Your Dog De-Stress at the Vet
Every pet is afraid of something, but for most, it’s the dreaded trip to vet. Pet owners know how afraid their pooches can get when they enter the vet clinic and know what’s coming- poking, prodding, keeping still or even needles! It’s understandably a stressful time for any dog. Here are some useful tips to help your pet get through their next vet visit relaxed and happy:
Start Them Young
We know some dogs get adopted at an older age, but if you can, it’s helpful to begin teaching your dog not to be afraid of the vet when they are puppies. Puppies can gain a positive association with the vet before they know it’s a scary place to be. Make sure to pack lots of tasty treats when you first bring your dog to the vet, and give them lots of attention while you are there. Create positive cues for the drive or walk on the way so that your young pup will understand that something good is coming out of their excursion.
Although it might sound counterintuitive, a great way to make your dog less afraid of the vet is to go more often! Why? So that you can make your dog comfortable with travelling to and from the vet and understand it’s a safe place to be.
Think about stopping by on your way to the park, or sitting at a café nearby. If you make the vet a social place, your dog is sure to be much more relaxed when you do have to take them for a checkup.
Limit Sensory Exposure
Dogs live so much of their lives through their noses! Smells and pheromones are so important to how your dog sees the world. This means that places where lots of animals come and go can be confusing for your dog.
If your pooch is especially afraid to go to the vet, think about booking your appointment at quieter times. You can ask your vet when this might be. This can limit the amount of scary smells and sounds that your dog may encounter, and overall reduce their stress.
Hire a Professional
Never underestimate the help that a good dog trainer can have to lower your pet’s stress. It’s never a bad thing to ask for help! If your pet is particularly scared of the vet, professional help might be the way to go, and will certainly pay off in the long run.
Your pet will thank you the next time they have to suck it up and got to the vet!