Consider implementing these helpful strategies by veterinarian Paula Bullock if your dog struggles with stress and anxiety from vet visits.
Taking your dog to the vet doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. You can start training your dog from home long before the big day arrives with some simple and proven strategies. Veterinarian and animal lover, Paula Bullock, shares tips for calming your dog’s anxiety during vet visits.
1. Car Rides
If your dog only experiences car rides when they’re going to the vet, their anxiety will begin from the moment you put them in the backseat. To help reduce their car anxiety, Paula Bullock suggests bringing your dog to fun places regularly. Take your pooch to a new park, dog beach, lake, or friend’s house to show them that car rides aren’t scary!
Another car ride tip recommended by Paula Bullock is to play soothing music. There are some soundtracks made specifically for calming your dog! Bring their favorite toy and some treats along for the drive too.
2. Herbal Supplements
Some doggie chew supplements can help to calm your dog before visiting the veterinarian. Paula Bullock notes that there are various types to choose from, so it may be best to consult your vet for their recommendations. Calming sprays are also on the market to help calm your dog, but they may not be as effective as medication.
3. Visit the Vet Regularly
The most often you visit your vet, the more comfortable your dog will be with the experience. Paula Bullock suggests calling your vet to see if they have any time for a quick visit to interact with the staff and get a treat. It is also an excellent opportunity to get your dog weighed to make sure it stays on a healthy diet.
If you have more than one dog, Veterinarian Paula Bullock suggests bringing them together, even if one does not need any treatment. Your dog will be comforted by having their furry companion by their side. According to Paula Bullock, make sure you bring your dog at least twice a year for preventative care.
Teach your dog simple commands and practice their obedience regularly. Veterinarian Paula Bullock suggests bringing your dog to obedience school if they are particularly hard to train. If your dog knows how to sit, stay, and lay down on their own, they won’t need to be physically moved as much at the vet’s office. Plus, Paula Bullock notes that performing commands for treats can distract your dog from the stress of being in the office.
5. Stay Calm
Believe it or not, some owners put stress on their pets. Paula Bullock explains that many people themselves are stressed by having to bring their pets to vet appointments. Plus, there may be unexpected bills and fees that may upset owners. Paula Bullock recommends staying calm throughout the entire experience while offering positive reinforcement to your dog.