"On the way to the vet...and below...after the vet"
- Play doctor: Come up with a game where you get your dog to lie down and pretend to look in his ears, his mouth, feel his legs, as if you are performing a checkup.
- Talk to your vet about scheduling a practice visit: If you are allowed, take your pet at a quiet time and just sit with him in the waiting room while the nurses chat with him, slowly building up to petting him.
- Rewards: Throughout your dog’s training period, keep some treats on hand to reward him for obeying a command and generally exhibiting good behavior. Nothing gives motivation quite like a prize.
Things to look for when your dog is in distress at the vet's office:
- Lip licking
- Pinned ears
- Panting or drooling
- Low and tense body posture
- Tail down as a show of warning away
- Shaking, trembling, or fidgeting
- Restlessness or pacing
- Avoidance to eye contact
- Excessive whining
Keeping positive reinforcement at the vet:
- Dog Toys: Bringing your dog's favorite toy or blanket to use as a buffer against distractions.
- Dog Treats: When your dog's mellowed down and begins to listen to your verbal cues again, reward him for it.
- Touch: Give your dog lots of attention by rubbing his chin, touching him, letting him know you are there.
- Reassure your dog: Tell him "good boy" and sound re-assuring followed by a treat.
- Don’t Worry: You will be reading your dogs body language and your dog is also reading yours. He can sense when your anxiety level is high and then will react to it in a negative way. Stay calm and your pet will sense your relaxation.
Hope you enjoyed this post and if you guys have ever experienced any situations where your pet has acted up at the vet, I would love to hear how you handled the situation. Maybe I can take some cues from you :-).