Find yourself dreading vet visits as much as your dog does? Well, it’s time to put the stress balls away—below are some tried and true tricks that will help make the trip to the vet’s a lot less painful, and maybe even a little enjoyable!
1. If your vet’s office is close to your house, try to include it as a destination on your daily walks. This way, walking to the vet will be normalized for your pooch and she won’t feel anxious about the journey to the vet’s office.
2. About five minutes before you and your pup arrive at the vet’s office, engage him with a treat puzzle toy. This can be something as simple as a Kong stuffed with peanut butter. Once your dog’s attention is on the toy, the transition into the office will be easier as he’ll be focused on getting the treats out of the puzzle rather than fretting about the checkup.
3. Bring your dog’s favorite blanket to help her relax. Having a piece of home with her will help her feel more secure, especially if her anxiety is triggered by the environment of the vet’s office.
4. Don’t be afraid to give rewards! Treat the entire visit as one big training exercise—when it’s time to weigh your dog, make him sit patiently and immediately reward him after the vet is done weighing. Every time your dog exhibits good behavior, make sure you reward him immediately to reinforce his behavior positively.