Dog Afraid of the Vet’s Office? Here’s What to Do

Many of our canine companions don’t enjoy going to the vet’s office. Frankly, we can’t blame them—after all, they get poked, prodded, and probed in the company of strange people and pets! Try these tips from a Crown Point, IN veterinarian to ease your dog’s office anxiety a bit.

Mock Exams at Home

By performing fake “examinations” at home, you can try and get your dog acclimated somewhat to the sensations he’ll feel at the vet’s office. Stand your dog up on a spare table in a quiet room, supporting him with one hand the entire time. Gently prod around his body, feeling the sides, legs, ears, and tail area. Do this several times before appointment day, and your dog may feel a lot less anxious when the real thing comes along!

Although this exam is staged, it does offer a good opportunity to give your dog a very real health check-up. Let your veterinarian know if you find any lumps, bumps, or abrasions you aren’t sure should be there. Also check the cleanliness of the ears, eyes, and mouth.

Car Travel Tips

Many dogs are frightened of the car, and with good reason—it only ever takes them to the vet’s office. For many dogs, their anxiety over the vet’s office and their anxiety over the car go hand-in-hand. Try acclimating your dog to the car ahead of time so that he’s not frightened before appointment time comes. Take your pooch on quick car rides around the neighborhood, then simply go back home. Also take time to cart your dog to fun places, like the park. These experiences will help your dog to associate the car with good things, not just the anxiety of veterinary visits.

In The Waiting Room

Many dogs feel more comfortable kept in their crate inside the waiting room; it gives them a sense of security that they may not have if just left on a leash. You should also bring several of your dog’s favorite toys to give him a sense of familiarity and provide a distraction from what’s going on around him. You can bring treats along as well; try giving a few to the office staff so that they can give the treats to your dog.

Do you need help dealing with your canine companion’s anxiety? Call the professionals at your Crown Point, IN animal hospital. We are here to help!

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