Just like most of us get stressed when we visit out doctors, so do our fur-babies. It is extremely important to set the tone for your puppy on their first vet visit. This way, they do not associate their veterinary check-ups as a negative experience. Follow these tips to create a stress-free visit for you and your pet.
1. Familiarize them with their pet carrier. Make sure to introduce your pup to the carrier as you will be transporting them in a few weeks before your appointment. Teach them to use the carrier for napping or relaxing. This way, you can have them get in with no hesitation once it is time to take them to the vet.
2. Take them on mini field-trips. Many pets are scared when they go on a car ride, but working on taking them on small trips to the park or the pet store will make them more comfortable. This will also help set your puppies mood before getting to the vet.
3. Make a preliminary visit to the vet. Take your fur-baby to their clinic days before their appointment. Let them sniff around the waiting room and scope out an exam room (if it’s okay with the staff). Give them a treat or two and then turn around and go home. This way they’ll associate the vet as a great place to visit.
4. Get them used to handling. By having your pets paws, ears, tails and other areas checked, they will be able to tolerate an exam much easier than a pet is not accustom to these checkups.
5. Be calm. Your attitude often dictates your pets mood. If you are nervous while heading to the vet, it will make your puppy tense. Make sure to have you pet’s medical history ready and leave with plenty of time so you are not feeling rushed. Also, if your pet is anxious let the veterinary staff know beforehand.
6. Secure your fur-baby. Although, you can always make a vet visit pleasing, it is important to keep your pet secured at all times. Bigger breeds can be harnessed and small breeds should remain in their carrier. Give your pup space from other animals and do not bring them up to other pets. Although your puppy may be calm, another pup may be agitated or nervous. The veterinarian’s office is also a good place to practice training commands and reward your dog’s good behavior with treats. Reward your pet’s good behavior throughout the exam and afterward.
7. Let them relax. You survived your first vet visit and you are happy to be home. What is next? Let you puppy relax in her favorite spot of the house. Make the atmosphere calm and quiet so he/she can regroup. Just keep an eye on them to check for any mood changes or reactions to medications.
A vet visit can be both stressful for you and your puppy, but these steps will definitely turn the experience into a positive one for you and your baby.
Read our blog post on How Often Should You Take Your Dog to The Vet to get more veterinary tips.