5 Tips for nervous pups are explained in this contributed post.
For some dog owners, a visit to the vet is no big deal. They jump in the car, following your lead, and everything goes smoothly from there.
For others… taking your dog to the vet can feel like an uphill battle. Some owners even report their dog seems to sense when there’s a vet visit in their schedule, and will begin to act fearful and concerned right from the moment they wake up. Given that vet visits can be fraught and concerning at the best of times, it’s incredibly difficult to see your canine friend showing signs of stress at the idea as well.
If you have a nervous dog who seems to dread vet visits with a passion, then you need a simple guide to show you how to manage their fear - which as it just so happens, is what you can now read right here.
Don’t Mention The V-Word
Animals - and particularly dogs - pay attention to the language we use. If for years, your dog is hearing the word “vet” and then goes through a difficult experience, then they will begin to recognize it. Use synonyms or just a simple “the V-word” if you’re talking about an upcoming appointment within earshot of your dog.
Do Take Care Of Medical Needs At Home (Wherever Possible)
It can be daunting to think of taking care of your dog’s medical needs for yourself, to the point you’re tempted to take them to the vet for the most basic of things. It just feels safer to entrust things to a vet sometimes. However, it’s far better for your dog if you limit your use of the vet; do your own research on canine nutrition, read up on dog tick prevention, always use worm and flea treatments. These small at-home tasks can help prevent a future visit if you do them regularly.
Don’t Act Differently
Dogs aren’t clairvoyant; they can’t pick up on a designated vet visit day thanks to psychic abilities. They can, however, pick up changes in you. If you’re worried or - as we are all guilty of on the days of vet visits - extra nice to your pooch, they might begin to wonder what’s in store for them. Just act as normally as possible, sticking to the same routine as you would under any other circumstances.
Do Practice Calming Techniques
When you’re finally on the way to the vet, try and keep the car journey as calm and simple as you possibly can. Talk to your dog to keep them calm, focusing on using the right tone of voice so as not to alarm them. It’s also worth considering using calming treatments like Reiki or flower essences in the lead up to their visit, so they already approach the big day in a calm state of mind.
Don’t Let Your Anxiety Show
Dogs pick up on our emotions. If you’re worried about your dog, that’s going to worry them, and then you worry about that… and the vicious circle relentlessly perpetuates itself. For your dog’s benefit, it’s far better to put a brave face on any concerns you have and just act like your usual self. It’ll make the trip far easier - for both of you!