As a conscientious dog owner, you strive to care for your dog with high-quality food, healthy and fun exercise, and routine veterinary exams.
During a routine veterinary exam, a vet will determine how your dog is progressing for their age and breed and anticipate underlying conditions that may afflict them as they grow older. To care for your dog, a veterinarian will also test their blood, immunize them for standard canine diseases, examine them for movement and gait irregularities, treat them when sick or injured, and advise you about proper daily care.
Some dogs may experience anxiety or misbehave at the vet because of all the medical attention, so you need to prepare your dog to ensure your visit goes smoothly. Here are some things that you can do to prepare your dog for regular veterinary exams.
Teach Your Dog Basic Commands
To prepare your dog to interact with you and your veterinarian, teach your dog basic commands. You can teach your dog to sit, stay, come, lie down, look at me, and other commands. When you teach your dog basic commands, they will regard you as their pack leader and in charge of their behavior, so they may behave better while at the vet.
Touch Your Dog Everywhere
Another way to prepare your dog to be thoroughly examined by a veterinarian is to touch them on each part of their body. Start at the top of their head, and massage your dog's neck, chest, ribs, spine, legs, paws, and tail.
Take special care to massage your dog's head, mouth, nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and ears. When touching your dog's mouth, lift up their lips to expose and touch their teeth and tongue. This way, your dog will already be used to this action before the veterinarian examines them.
Exercise Your Dog
To maintain your dog's health and relax them, walk your dog around your neighborhood or play a game of catch or fetch with a ball or frisbee. Do this every day, and especially on the day of a scheduled veterinary visit. These exercises will rid your dog of excess energy and relax them while they are at the vet's office.
Make a Few Social Visits to the Vet's Office
To acquaint your dog with the sights, sounds, and smells of the vet's office, make a few social visits there. Call the vet's office before your visit to inform them why you and your dog will be coming there and to ask them what day and time would be good for a social visit.
Take a seat in the waiting room and ask your dog to sit on the floor next to you. During this visit, keep your dog on a leash and talk to them to keep them calm. Stay long enough for other dogs, cats, and animals to arrive for their veterinary appointments. To teach your dog some social skills, allow them to smell and greet other animals who come to the vet's office.
You can also ask the receptionist if the veterinarian can meet with your dog for a few minutes. Suggest that the veterinarian weigh your dog and lift them onto an examination table so your dog can become familiar with the process before the actual examination.
Reward Your Dog With Treats
While you are at the vet's office, talk to your dog and give them a few commands. When your dog responds correctly to these commands, reward them with a treat and verbal praise.
As a reward, give your dog a small treat such as a piece of steak, a hunk of cheese, or another protein such as chicken, lamb, or fish. If you reward your dog with a dog biscuit, break it up into small pieces.
To take your dog to a caring and compassionate veterinary clinic, come to Family Pet Clinic. Our veterinary doctors and staff members have the experience and expertise to treat and care for your dog in our office and advise you on how to care for your dog at home.