How to Help Your Dog Love His Vet Visits

Hello everyone, and welcome back to a brand new episode of Dog Sense!

First, let me ask you a question: Does your dog absolutely hate going to the vet?

You're not alone! A lot of dogs get quite anxious about going to the vet, and that's understandable.

It’s kind of  like when you have to go to an appointment you don’t enjoy (maybe the eye doctor, the dentist, etc.). The difference is that we know WHY we need to go, but we can’t explain the need for ‘vet visits’ to our dogs!   

YOU know the vet isn't going to hurt your dog, but he doesn’t. Plus, his association with the building, the slippery floor, the smells, and all that body handling creates stress even before he walks through the door, but your canine best friend doesn't know that. 

Also, let’s be honest: Sometimes the procedure WILL be a little uncomfortable, but it’s ultimately for the greater good. The issue is, your canine best friend has no way of knowing that. 

So how can you make his visits to the vet less dread-inducing?

Sarah and I share with you our tips and tricks today, so tune in now to learn how you can prepare your dog for his vet visits.

Two Things to Remember

Here are two things you need to work on with your dog so he can be as comfortable as possible at the vet’s office:

  • Body Handling: You’ll need to intentionally practice body handling with your dog or puppy because you want him to know that there’s a lot of value in you (or other people!) touching him. At a vet visit, your dog will be handled by a lot of people at the clinic, and he’ll need to be comfortable with that. You want him to be calm and you want to keep the vet team safe when they have to do procedures that may be a little uncomfortable (taking his temperature, drawing blood, examining his teeth, etc.) 
  • Elevated Surfaces: When you’re working on body handling, ideally you’re doing it on an elevated surface. This is because, most of the time, your dog will be on an elevated table (or other surface) at the vet (and this will also help your dog when he’s on a Sinai leash table at the groomer!). 
  • After practicing these two skills, you’ll need to add a few more items to your ‘to train’ list to achieve a more chill vet experience. Sarah and I discuss all of this in the episode above, so make sure to give it a listen to find out!