Regular wellness check-ups are important to keeping our furry friends healthier longer, but it’s well known that visiting the vet can be a stressful event. With a bit of knowledge and preparation, there are many things you can do to help make these trips to the vet easier for everyone – especially your pooch.
• Make social trips to the vet’s office to get your pup used to the people and the place – but remember to call ahead to see if they have the time for a quick visit!
• If your dog is smaller and uses a carrier in the car, be sure to incorporate it into their daily life – don’t save it solely for trips to the vet or they’ll have a bad association.
• Make sure your dog can stand, sit, and turn around comfortably inside their carrier – you wouldn’t want to feel like you’re being restrained, would you?
• Include a favorite blanket or towel from home inside their carrier – the familiar smell of home can help calm your pet.
• Look for calming pheromone-based scent sprays for animals that you can use in the carrier and around your home during stressful times.
• Give your dog a regular head to toe examination at home along with plenty of loving words and treats as you go along – it helps them get used to being touched and handled, and gives you a chance to catch any changes early.
• While smaller dogs are used to being picked up and carried, most large dogs are only lifted at vet visits, which can make it stressful for them. Get your dog used to being picked up, leaned over or held onto by incorporating it into play, grooming and petting.
• Take your dog along on short car rides that DON’T end at the vet’s office – getting them used to being in the car can make a world of difference in their behavior.
• Animals can pick up on your moods and anxiety so remember to remain calm, and speak to your dog in soothing tones. You can also play soothing music during car rides.
• If your dog is especially nervous, fearful or injured, consider using a muzzle to keep them from snapping or biting the vet. Even the gentlest of animals can bite if they are hurt, scared or in pain.
• Despite best efforts, some animals will never get used to going to the vet. In these cases, speak to your vet about a gentle sedative you can give your dog before visits.
So when is the last time your dog got a health check up? If the answer isn’t within the last six months, then it’s time to give us a call. We promise your pet will be treated like our own.