Trainer shares four tips for less stressful vet visits — and number three is a game-changer!

Vet listening to puppy's heart
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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. 

And thankfully, expert trainer Lyz Knight has shared a post to Instagram in which she reveals four of her favorite tips for stress-free vet visits. Keen to know what they are? Read on! 

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."

For more great canine content, check out our guides to how to calm a reactive dog and how to stop a dog from jumping up.

Kathryn Rosenberg
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past three years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with a very mischievous Cocker Spaniel and a super sassy cat, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.