By: Rickie Smith
Vet visits do not have to be a traumatic and stressful one for your beloved pet. No matter how healthy and clean your dog is, the day will come when it will have to see a vet. Your dog must be vaccinated against rabies and other K-9 diseases by law. Only a licensed vetenarian is legally authorized to administer these and the certificates. No doubt there will be other times when your dog becomes ill and a visit to your local vet will be required.
Think about how much you like going to a doctor. The fact is, most people do not like this visit. By the same token, it only makes sense that dogs do not like going to the vet. When you add the fact this poor animal has to put their trust in a total stranger whom they cannot communicate with, it can be even more stressful. A vet visit can be very traumatic for your dog, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several things that you can do to relieve your precious pet of this trauma.
First off, dog owners can start off right by bringing their dog into the vet office just to for friendly vet visits. The vet’s receptionists should then have an opportunity to visit with your dog and this should be followed by the owner rewarding them for good behavior. Dog owners should also perform mock exams at home with their dog by checking ears, toes, tails, teeth, and touching their dog with a metal object, similar to the ones used at the vet clinic. Another tip is to enroll your puppy in dog kindergarten or basic training class. This is an excellent way for owners to get help with various technique as well as give their dogs the much needed practice of being around other people and pets before their visit to the vet. It’s important that dogs learn that “Good things Happen” when people do certain things to me by giving them rewards which are associated with the various aspects of an exam.
The next thing you should do before scheduling vet visits is getting recommendations from others. Your friends and neighbors surely will have pets and will recommend a good vet. Often times the vetenarian itself can make the difference in a pleasant visit for your pet or one that results in a complete disaster.
Once you have located a vet you like make it a point to stay with that particular one. Dogs can easily develop relationships with people and this is something you want to have happen with the vet. If they are comfortable the vet, then their visit will be less stressful each time they go. If you have an emergency if may not be possible to go to your regular vet, but try as much as possible as it will be less confusing for your dog. Sometimes vet visits are a result of an emergency and this isn’t possible, but try to stick to one vet. In these cases, ask if you can stay with your pet as it will be less confusing. Having you there with them can make all the difference in the world. Most vets will gladly allow this unless the treatment involves surgery.
Dogs must also learn to relax while being lifted onto the vets examination table. You can help this process by practicing at home, lifting your pet up on the counter. Once at the vet’s office, stay positive and try to keep it fun for the dog by using treats and toys. You might want to practice the exam while your waiting for the vet to call your dog in. Using tricks can also help to reduce stress for everyone involved, including the vet staff. If you have to restrain your dog, remember that the least amount of restraint reduces the amount of stress for the dog. A dog that is confident, comfortable and relaxed will result in a more thorough exam for the pet. As the owner you need to understand that it is your responsibility to make sure your dog behaves while being examined.
Vet visits for dogs can be very stressful for both the owner and the pet. However, by using some common sense as well as the tips mentioned above, these visits for your dog can become less scary. In addition, the visit will become less traumatic for you, your dog, and your vet.