The Vet – Not Every Dogs Dream
Life can become very difficult for the dog owner that’s pet doesn’t like the veterinarian or even the surgery itself. It is unsurprising though that many dogs do develop a phobia to a vet visit because the place is often only frequented when the canine feels unwell or even worse when he will experience fear or pain.
All is not lost if you have this problem because there are some things you can do to desensitize your worried pet to the necessary vets visit.
Regular handling will help your pet get used to being touched and felt all over. Any dog who is relaxed whilst he has all his legs and feet touched, ears, mouth and eyes checked at home will be less worried when a vet needs to take a look. Whilst handling your pet at home make it rewarding and stress free. Always reward relaxed behavior and stop whilst your pet is still happy to be touched, you can increase handling time gradually this way.
Calling into the surgery once a week, or even more regularly, will help remove the stigma of the vet visit from your dog’s mind. A good practice will encourage this and you can even ask the receptionist to give your dog some positive attention and a treat then just leave again. Your pet will soon learn that there is also a good experience available within that particular building.
Always warn the vet that your dog is worried, although most will be able to see for themselves, a good veterinarian will cater their handling of your pet to allow for his fear.
Some dogs need to be muzzled because they are so scared and if this is the case it is worth also desensitizing your own pet to the muzzle at home. This activity can be carried out with clicker training and feeding your dog tasty treats from within the muzzle.
If veterinary surgery visits are detrimental to the health and well-being of your dog and you as his owner then it may be worth asking the vet if he can carry out home visits. This can be more expensive but will certainly reduce a lot of stress for all involved.