However, our Vets can help us with a lot more than just treatment for illness or emergency. They help us to keep up with vaccinations and flea, tick and other disease prevention. They also can advise us on more general health and tell us when our pet is perhaps getting a little on the tubby side or need their teeth cleaning!
We are very lucky to have excellent Vets locally, who are dedicated to our pets’ health and well-being. How about we make an effort to help them, and our dogs too, by creating a really well-trained and calm plan for every Vet visit.
Some of you have told me your dogs LOVE the Vet surgery, bounding in there like visiting a canine social club, delighted to be there and greeting everyone in sight.
Others tell me that their dogs refuse to walk in, perhaps because they were ill at their last visit or are worried about the other dogs in the waiting room.
The good news in, we can help dogs to enjoy these trips once again.
Firstly, make sure your dog is happy to meet other people in all situations when they are well. Do they shy away from being stroked or touched? This might make it very stressful when the Vet is attempting to examine them more closely. Aim to relax your dog by pairing any touch with something your dog loves, such as tasty chicken or their favourite toy for afterwards.
Will your dog let you examine them or restrain them in the same way that will be needed at the Vets? Gently holding their collar, harness or shoulders, for example? Once again, practice at home, rewarding them with a really tasty treat whilst they stay happy and calm whilst you look at every body part you can. If they are reluctant, take your time and never force them!
If you have a smaller dog, the Vet may need them to be lifted up onto a table for easier examination. Once again this might be a rare event for your dog. Instead, place a rubber bathmat or similar onto a raised surface along with your dog’s tastiest dinner, and allow your dog to get used to being lifted up and held safely on this higher platform whilst enjoying their snack.
Most of all, make it a regular and rewarding, so that your next Vet visit is the best ever!