My dogs get excited when I tell them we’re going to see the vet. Yes, I talk to them, Yes, I tell them where we’re going. Both are keys to a stress-less veterinarian visit for Fido and Fifo. As a dog breeder, trips to the vet’s office are commonplace and I’ve found ways to make the trips easier for both me and my dogs, and they will work for you and your canine companion too.
Schedule a visit to the vet when your pet is well for a meet and greet. Talk your vet up to your dog, calling him or her by name, so your dog will be stoked to see Sue or Bob by the time you arrive at the office. Book the visit on a typically slow day and slow time, like Tuesday morning at 10am, so your dog can sniff things out and have the undivided attention of the staff.
All dogs get petted on the head and scratched behind the ears, but only their vet touches them on the inner thigh and on their paw pads. These unfamiliar touch sensations can be alarming to your dog, so get Fido prepared by getting him accustomed to having these out-of-the-way places petted and groomed by you.
Invest in a yoga mat just for vet visit. The exam tables are stainless steel (for sanitary purposes), cold and slippery, a yoga mat placed on top of the table makes for a warm, slide-proof surface with a familiar scent, which all works together to keep Fido calm.
Bring other goodies along like a special food treat that is only given at the vet’s office. A favorite toy or blanket will also help your dog feel more at home in strange surroundings.
Secure Your Dog
You have no control over what other animal may be in the vet’s office while you’re there or how that animal may respond to your pet, so keep your pet secure at all times. Keep large dogs on a leash and small dogs in a carrier for their own safety.
Even though the cute Persian kitty is giving you the come-hither look, don’t go thither. My happy, cute-as-a-button Jack Russell dogs are not happy campers if they’re not feeling good or after receiving a round of shots and may snap at an unfamiliar hand.
Once a Year
Take your dog to the veterinarian at least once a year for a checkup. A yearly visit helps detect common canine disorders like arthritis and heart conditions before they become too advanced and untreatable.
Go to the vet’s office with a list of questions regarding your dog’s behavior or treatment. You and your veterinarian are in a partnership to provide your dog with a high quality of life for as long as possible. An open dialogue between the two of you is a good thing for Fido.
Tell your veterinarian exactly what you give Fido to eat and how much. If Fido is vomiting, tell your vet he got into your Valentine’s Day candy stash. Proper treatment for a condition relies upon accurate information, and since Fido and Fifi can’t talk, that honest information must come from you.
Ask About Options
When your vet recommends a treatment plan for some type of canine issue, ask about options. There are often cheaper, less invasive treatment options for Fido, however they may not be as good as an aggressive procedure. Ask about options just as you would for your own health care.