Visiting the Vet can be a trial if your dog has a nervous temperament or has learned to associate Vet visits with a negative outcome. The good news is that with a bit of effort it is possible to make every Vet visit a positive experience for you and your dog.
The secret is to prepare, offer rewards and gradually increase the interaction with your Vet creating positive associations all the way.
- Talk to your Vet about training your dog and arrange to bring him in for a few quick visits.
- Watch his reaction closely when approaching the Vet’s location. If he starts shaking when you pull into the parking lot, reward him for calming down while still in the car. Progress slowly until you are able to go into the reception.
- Spend a few minutes in the reception area giving your dog treats, then leave. Doing this just once a month can be effective but the more often you do this the faster results will be.
- Once you have had a few positive visits just giving treats, get him on the scale, then feed him some treats, and leave.
- After a few positive visits at that level, get the veterinary technicians to feed him treats. If possible, walk him into an examination room, feed him treats and then leave.
- Repeat until your dog strolls into the Vet without a care every time.
- The goal is to always leave after a positive experience. If your dog is frightened or nervous, find an area where he’s comfortable taking treats even if it’s outside.
- Don’t leave right after your dog has had a nervous reaction. If your dog is afraid, wait until he calms down first.
- If your dog is very nervous, consider feeding him his meals there a few of times per week.