The average American dog will visit the veterinarian three times a year. Here are some tips on making your pup's next vet appointment less traumatic for both him … and you!
"Dogs don't like going to see the veterinarian any more than we like going to see the doctor, but there's no avoiding it," says Luciano Aguilar. "Whether it's a routine check-up or because of an illness or injury, your dog will be making occasional trips to the vet's office. Practicing good "vet etiquette" is the best way to ensure that every appointment goes smoothly."
You never know what you're going to run into in a veterinarian's waiting room. It can be perfectly calm and quiet or total chaos. It only takes one unruly dog to upset the other patients and their owners … and you definitely don't want that unruly dog to be your own.
Even if you have an angel of a dog, it's a good idea to keep a leash on him while you're in the vet's office. If you have a small dog that tends to act up around other dogs or cats, place and hold him on your lap.
If you think he'll get too squirmy, bring him into the office in a crate or dog carrier. This will prevent him from seeing everything that's going on around him and will help keep him calm. A crate or carrier isn't really an option for a larger dog, so have a short leash on your dog as you come into the waiting room and then sit him between your legs.
Many vets have muzzles they lend to prevent aggressive dogs from biting other animals or people in the waiting room. If you're concerned, come in and ask at the front desk before bringing your dog into the office. Better to be safe than sorry.
Even the best-behaved dog can act up in the blink of an eye when they're scared or in pain. When you're in with veterinarian, ask if you can assist them by holding your dog or keeping his head still. Of course, your vet may prefer that you not be in the room and ask you to step out during the examination or procedure. Remember, he or she is the professional. So be prepared to comply with what they think is best.
Dogs handle the stress of going to the vet's office in lots of different ways. So be sure to consider your dog's individual disposition and always practice good vet etiquette.
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