Taking An Anxious Dog to the Vet
Vet visits can be stressful for both the pet and the pet parent. The veterinarian’s office may be strange to our four-legged friends. It is a new place with interesting smells, sights, and sounds. However, the good news is that an anxious dog can learn to enjoy vet visits with preparation and helpful tools. Continue reading to learn more.
Desensitization can address your dog’s anxiety. This gradually exposes the dog to the anxiety trigger at their own pace. This type of training (like others) will require patience and commitment. Our first recommendation is to take your four-legged friend to the veterinarian’s office for fun. A casual drop-in at the vet’s office may help your dog adjust and teach them that it is a positive experience.
Communicate with your veterinarian’s office and schedule a time for a drop-in visit. When you arrive at the office, allow your dog to visit with the staff and sniff around the waiting room. This is a time when you must offer positive reinforcement. We are sure that your vet’s office will give your dog treats which will help your dog get acquainted!
Did you know that you can give your dog plenty of exercise before a visit to the vet, which will wear them out and help them relax in the office? Before the appointment, play a game of fetch or visit the local dog park. Allow your dog to burn off energy!
Another thing you can consider is an anxiety aid. You may be unable to make a drop-in visit or exercise before an appointment. An anxiety aid such as a calming collar, pressure wrap, or pheromone spray can help your dog feel more comfortable at the vet’s office. Although considered a last resort, medication is an option. We think working on training and socialization is better before resorting to medication.
Overall, as a pet parent, you must calm your nerves for these tips to be successful. Dogs are sensitive to our emotions, and their anxiety will increase if they pick up that you are stressed. Speak with your veterinarian about additional tips to cure your dog’s anxiety. If all else fails, most veterinary clinics offer in-home visits, eliminating some of that anxiety.