Many dogs tremble on the way to the vet’s office and literally have to be dragged or carried to the treatment room. It doesn’t have to be if you follow our tips.
Helpful home workout
No matter what you ask your dog to do, whether it’s “sit,” “down,” or “here,” once your dog knows the appropriate visual or audio cue, do it only once. You may need a bit of patience and self-control at first. But remember: your dog has heard and seen exactly what you want. So be stubborn, but don’t repeat your wish. But don’t go any further. Only when the dog does what you won’t do you release the tension – with clickers, praise, and cheering, a game or a reward.
As a guest, not as a patient
Arrange consultation hours at the veterinarian during which nothing happens. The dog is allowed to roam around the treatment room, you have a friendly chat with your veterinarian and they pet the dog or give it a treat. Then go back home. One or two such visits a year, where the dog is only a guest, are often enough to have good memories of the veterinarian.
Useless waiting time
The more prepared you are, the shorter the vet visit. Make an appointment and keep it on time. Take all the papers with you and talk openly to the vet, who (hopefully) has your trust. Does your dog tend to snap? Then say so before the treatment. Have you noticed anything unusual lately? Write it down and talk about it. Then the doctor can assess the animal better and you save yourself a useless question and answer game.
The business before the therapy
The many smells in the waiting room the treatment room and the treatment itself strain even good dog nerves. Like us humans, this affects the intestines and bladder. It’s a good idea to take a nice walk where the dog can unwind before the vet visit. A small mishap can still happen. But many dogs are really relieved when they have “relieved”.
Your tension, fear, excitement – it all transfers to the dog. So practice composure, take a deep breath, and tame your nerves, for the sake of the dog. The more confident and calm you approach the vet visit, the easier you make it for the patient.
Of course, you suffer when the dog is scared or in pain when it whines or howls loudly. But for heaven’s sake don’t feel sorry for your dog right now and don’t start comforting him. That upsets him even more. Remain calm, make it clear that nothing can happen while you’re there, and assist the vet as best you can. If you can’t bear to see your dog suffering, wait outside until the treatment is given.
Important happy ending
Of course, you have to get home with the dog quickly if it has just had an operation or is seriously ill. But after vaccination, a health check, or an X-ray, you should take the time to go for a fun ride right after the unpleasant procedure. Surely there is a park, a dog park, or open country nearby where you two can play together or run a race. The dog associates this with the visit to the practice and will feel anticipation instead of fear the next time.