Taking your dog to the vet can be a stressful experience for both you and your pooch, even for a routine checkup. This is a problem because it’s unhealthy for your dog, makes it harder for your vet to care for your dog’s health and can even result in aggressive behavior. If you have a dog who gets very stressed during vet visits, start considering steps you can take before the appointment so the experience won’t be as traumatic for her.
Go Fun Places Other Than the Vet
This obviously isn’t something you can do right before a vet visit, but over time you can and should train your dog to view car rides as fun trips rather than terrifying experiences. Instead of only taking your dog on a car ride when it’s time to go to the vet, take her on outings to your local pet store or park. This not only makes it easier to get your dog in the car but reduces her stress levels when taking her to the vet. It also benefits your dog by giving her increased exercise, stimulation and socialization.
Bring A Favorite Toy, Blanket or Companion
Bringing along a favorite toy or blanket can help calm your dog during her vet visit. If you have a second dog or even another animal in the house that your dog views as her companion, consider bringing the second animal along as emotional support. This can be beneficial for the other animal as a social visit to the vet can lessen their anxieties when it’s their turn to come in.
Use Anti-Anxiety Meds For Dogs
There are a number of medications, treats and supplements on the market that serve as effective anti anxiety food for dogs. Consult with your vet before using them to ensure they are safe for your dog to consume. Vets can also write prescriptions for animals that really need them. This may be necessary if your dog is excessively anxious in other circumstances such as being left home alone.
Give Them Treats to Curtail Aggressive Tendencies
If your pooch is anxious, they are most likely going to exhibit high energy levels. Restlessness, overexertion, excessive licking or chewing, and even barking or howling are all signs that your dog is not comfortable with the situation. Help your pup calm down by giving them chews or snacks. These not only divert their attention but also help them expend their energy so they will be easier to handle later. It also helps them associate vet visits as a positive experience.
Remain Calm Yourself
Dogs can sense when the people around them are stressed and are almost certain to get stressed themselves if they sense you are panicked or worried. Take steps to calm yourself with breathing exercises or brief meditation and remain calm throughout the experience. Reassure your dog, pet him and talk to him in a calming, gentle voice throughout the appointment.
Most dogs do not like going to the vet and can exhibit extreme anxiety during the experience. As his owner, you should do what you can to try and ease his anxieties and make the trip as pleasant as possible. Try different approaches to find one that works.