Tips For Training Your Dog Not To Fear The Vet

Posted on

Do you own a dog that freaks out when it's time to visit the vet? Do you wish that there was something you could do to make a vet visit easier and less stressful for your canine companion? For many people, going to the vet is a stressful process that involves trickery or brute force to get the dog in the car. But vet visits don't have to be so difficult. There are things you can do to help manage your dog's stress levels so that it's less difficult for you to get him or her the veterinary care that he or she needs. Some of these things include:

Right kind of crate: While all dogs have a better sense of smell than humans do, some dogs are more fixated on scents than others. As an example, bloodhounds may ignore what they can see in favor of sniffing out an interesting scent. Similar dogs may do better in a fully enclosed crate that contains an article of clothing that you've worn recently. The scent will give him or her comfort while waiting at the vet. On the other hand, other dogs actually favor sights over smells. Dogs like this include Labrador retrievers, which are often used for hunting ducks. To complete this task, the dog must see where the duck lands and may not be able to smell the bird until they're right on top of it. For visual dogs like this, they may prefer a more open crate where they are able to see you and know that you're still there with them. Find out what type of dog you have and transport him or her to his or her veterinary care appointments accordingly. 

Normalize the crate: If you only drag out the transportation crate when your dog needs veterinary care, then he or she will quickly learn to associate the crate with unpleasant things. Start leaving the crate out at home and even leave treats inside every now and then. When you take your dog to the park, the pet supply store, or anywhere else that they enjoy, use the crate to transport him or her. Your dog will soon learn that the crate doesn't mean bad things are going to happen and it will be easier to take him or her to the next vet appointment.

Give mock examinations: Having taken your dog to the vet several times before, you probably have a good idea of what a typical examination looks like. At home, do some of the same things to your pet so that he or she starts viewing these actions as less scary. After looking in your dog's mouth or otherwise prodding him or her around, reward your dog with a treat so that he or she will hopefully be less reluctant the next time the vet needs to perform an examination. You might even consider trying to teach your dog to open his or her mouth on command. The promise of tasty food items should help encourage your dog to view a vet exam as something almost fun and enjoyable.

For more information, contact companies like Community Animal Hospital.