Having Your Dog Enjoy the Vet
Going to the vet is a routine aspect of your dog’s life. Whether it is her yearly shots or a check-up, it is important you take the time to ensure your dog doesn’t view going to the vet as a fearful or upsetting experience. Here are some simple steps you can take to help your dog have a positive association with visiting the vet.
• Take every opportunity to visit the vet just for training purposes
• Bring tasty treats with you and/or your dog’s favorite toy when you visit the vet
• Provide treats/toys and praise in the lobby of the clinic, on the doggie scale, during physical exam, etc.
• You can ask the technician or the vet to give your dog plenty of food rewards, as well
• Practice mock vet visits at home. For example, you can put your dog on a table or scale and provide treats and praise. Practice handling in the same way the vet would do during a physical exam. Lift her paws, touch her ears, open her mouth, stroke her back, etc. Provide treats throughout this exercise. Lift her paw and give a treat. Check ears and give a treat. Move leg and give a treat. Lift tail and give a treat. Ensure to repeat, repeat and repeat until your dog becomes desensitized to this type of handling
• You can even ask your vet if you could come by a couple times and do mock exams and provide treats, play time, and praise during them
Remember, even when your dog learns to accept going to the vet, don’t stop training! Make sure to remind your dog that the vet is a safe and happy place to be by continuing these exercises every so often.
Good luck training!
Trainer, Perfect Pooch