Preparing Your Dog for a Vet Visit

Help your dog feel relaxed and even enjoy vet visits with these tips!
Tips & Advice → Preparing Your Dog for a Vet Visit

Preparing for a vet visit Bark Busters Home Dog Training

A First Time Vet Visit can be Stressful for Pets and Owners Alike

Taking your dog to the vet is essential for their health and well-being. Help create a positive experience for your dog, and the vet team, by following our tips.

Before the Vet Visit

Get to Know the Vet Clinic

  • Arrange a short, casual, meet & greet visit at your vet office before your actual appointment so your dog may get used to the new environment, ideally when the office is quiet.
  • Allow your dog to greet the team, have a treat, and explore the exam room.
  • This short visit will allow your dog to form a positive association with the clinic and the visit.
  • If your dog has had a negative experience at a vet in the past, call your vet and let them know before your visit. They can often help make your dog’s experience more positive.

Practice Handling at Home

  • Get your dog used to being handled in a way similar to a vet exam.
  • Gently touch, pat or rub, different parts of their body, while they are home and relaxed, such as their eyes, ears, feet, and teeth.
  • Regular practice will make these touches familiar and less stressful during an actual exam.

Positive Car Rides

  • Take your dog on car rides to fun places so they don’t associate car rides solely with vet visits.
  • Not only will this help ease anxiety when you are headed to the vet but will help reduce anxiety related to any car travel.

Exercise

  • Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise, both physical and mental, before a vet visit.
  • A tired dog is a happy dog, and usually more relaxed and easier to handle.

During the Vet Visit

Stay Calm

  • Keep a calm and relaxed attitude during the visit.
  • Your dog looks to you for cues, so if you’re calm, they’re more likely to stay calm too.

Keep Control in the Waiting Area

  • Keep your dog on a short leash in the waiting area and avoid any accidents or altercations with other pets.
  • If your dog has ever shown any sign of aggression, consider using a muzzle for safety - be sure to practice wearing it first at home to prevent stress during the visit.
  • Try not to nurture your dog if they seem afraid, which will only reinforce their fear, and instead, keep calm and neutral. Standing tall while waiting will also show your dog that you’re in control.
  • If you have a small dog, bring them into the clinic in a carrier and consider including familiar items like a blanket or toys to make them feel more secure.

After the Vet Visit

Praise & Reward with Fun

  • Take your dog somewhere fun to play and relax after the visit.
  • Again, this reinforces a vet visit as a positive

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