Dogs have a similar reaction to the vet as children have to the pediatrician and the dentist: pure, abject terror. And why wouldn’t they? They’re taken to this strange place filled with other animals they don’t know, put on this table by some man/woman they don’t know, and then touched and/or poked for about an hour. All the while their owner acts like it’s the most normal thing in the world. Of course, they panic in response to all of this. Luckily, if you’re taking your dog to an animal hospital in Norridge, here are a few tips and tricks you can utilize to calm your precious pup down in time for a checkup.
#1. Get your dog used to the car
If you only take your dog in the car to go to the vet, they will associate getting in the car with the vet’s office, and will thus be less likely to get in. To fight this, take your dog for car rides often, either to the store, the park, or just to have fun. This will make them more relaxed and less suspicious when you tell them to get in the car.
Nothing makes a dog behave more than positive reinforcement. Bring top-quality treats to the vet to be given to your dog to reward him when he behaves himself. And don’t just bring dog biscuits, bring things like meat baby food, spray cheese, bits of steak and hamburger etc. to really let your dog know that being nice to the vet equals delicious treats.
#3. Stay calm
Just as treats are a surefire way to get your dog to calm down at the vet, acting nervous, jittery or irritable is an equally quick way to make your dog more nervous himself. The way dogs deal with and process emotions is still a mystery for the most part, but one thing we do know is that they are informed by the emotional state of their owners. Remain calm, at least visibly, as much as you can.
#4. Play treat him
While at home, regularly touch his ears, paws, and tail. These are the spots that cause the most stress when at the vet. Get your dog used to humans touching these areas, and they’ll be less on edge when it comes time to visit the vet.
Vets are an understandably stressful place for dogs, but there are plenty of ways to calm them down. So when your dog’s next checkup is around the corner, try these helpful hints to make the visit go by easier. Contact Portage Park Animal Hospital & Dental Clinic for more detail or visit www.portagepark.com.
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