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How to De-Stress Trips to the Vet!

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Author Topic: How to De-Stress Trips to the Vet!  (Read 22 times)
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« on: September 30, 2007, 03:11:48 am »

How to De-Stress Trips to the Vet!
Posted Thu, Sep 20, 2007, 10:00 am PDT

Trips to the vet can be upsetting, as anyone who's ever had to manage a fussy or anxious animal during a checkup can tell you!

But they don't have to be. Here are some ways to make the process less painful for both you and your dog: 

Get to know your vet. The unknown is enough to put anybody on their guard, and dogs don't have the reasoning skills to recognize that a veterinarian is trying to help. Schedule some time beforehand to familiarize your dog with his doctor.

Introduce new sights, smells, and sensations at home. You can do a lot at home, where your dog is already comfortable, to defuse anxiety before it begins. The smell of alcohol, the uniforms, and the physical exam will all be foreign to him unless you introduce them early, together with rewards like treats and praise, to create pleasant associations.

Don't let anticipation become anxiety. The trip itself can be a stressful experience, especially if your dog doesn't travel well. So if your dog becomes anxious in the car, you must deal with that problem first. I also recommend casual social visits to the reception area of the vet's office, to condition your dog to be relaxed and happy in that environment, and to get the idea that it is not a "big deal" to hang out there.

Exercise! Work off some of that extra energy before your dog has a chance to turn it into anxiety. A vigorous walk can make him more disposed to lie still during an examination, and allowing the vet to provide the bowl of water and a treat afterward can help to create a bond between dog and doctor!
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