How Can I Build a Positive Relationship Between My Dog and the Vet?

How Can I Build a Positive Relationship Between My Dog and the Vet? - Tether Tug

Most dogs are understandably wary of the vet's office. Not only are they finding themselves in an unfamiliar and antiseptic environment, but they're poked and prodded by strangers almost the moment they get their paws in the door. Since it's your responsibility as a dog owner to look after your pet's health, building a positive relationship between your dog and the vet is essential. Here are some tips on how to turn vet visits into a rewarding experience for everyone involved. 


Help Them Get Used to the Office and Staff

By their very nature, dogs crave affection and attention from the people they've come to love and trust. If you can assimilate your veterinarian and the office staff into this circle, going to the vet will become as easy as a trip to the mailbox.

Make frequent stops at the vet when you're just passing by, and bring your dog in to say hello to everyone. Make sure he gets lots of treats and praise during the visit. Not only will the dog come to regard the vet with less apprehension, but the staff will become better acquainted with his personality. 


Help the Dog Become Familiar with Restraints

Bites, cuts, lacerations, and scratches make up 83% of injuries suffered by veterinarians. To lessen the probability of your dog inflicting this type of injury, you'll need to eradicate the stigma surrounding whatever restraints you're using.

If you only leash your dog before a car trip, try putting it on him for short walks or play sessions as well. This will help him to associate his leash with fun instead of fear. If you need to use a crate as a mode of transport, keep the unit in an area of the house where he likes to play, and put a few favorite toys inside to entice him. 


Practice at Home

You can also lessen your dog's anxiety about veterinary exams by mimicking the procedure at home. That doesn't mean sticking the poor hound with needles; it's as simple as fondling his ears, gently handling his paws, and looking into his mouth. Over time, the dog will come to regard these exams as just another form of the love he's used to receiving.

It can take time to build a positive relationship between your dog and his caregivers, but it's an investment well worth making. Not only will it make the experience easier on you, but it can translate into a longer, happier life for your animal companion.

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