If you're anything like most pet parents, taking your dog to the vet is no walk in the park. These trips can be incredibly stressful — both for your dog and for you — so having a few tips up your sleeve to help make the process a little more comfortable can make vet visits more manageable.
Many owners report that their dog hated going to the vet until they discovered easy strategies they could use that would help make the over-stimulating environment of the vet practice an easier place for their pup to be.
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1. Always bring treats
"Bring lots of small, soft, and stinky dog treats to give throughout the entire appointment," Knight advises. "Don't wait for your dog to look nervous to offer them treats. Instead, give treats throughout the visit to help build positive associations."
2. Communication is key
"Let your vet know if your dog is nervous, shy, or excitable, and how they prefer to be greeted. Sharing this information ahead of your appointment means your vet can better prepare for safe and comfortable interactions with your dog."
3. Go for a happy visit first
"Schedule a few non-exam visits where your dog can explore the clinic, eat treats, and get comfortable," explains Knight. "Happy Visits are short (5-15 minutes) and are a great chance for our dogs to get acclimated to the clinic without the pressure of an exam or procedures."
4. Advocate for your dog
"Learn your dog's needs and stress signals and communicate those to vet staff. Be your dog's voice! The more we can advocate for our dogs, the more we can help them feel comfortable in settings like the vet clinic."
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.