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Eight tips for a relaxing vet trip

Posted on: April 6th, 2012 by

A dog with pet insurance prepares to go to the vet.

By: Liam Crowe
Bark Busters CEO
Guest Blogger
For Pets Best Insurance

In a veterinary clinic, your dog can easily become overwhelmed by new smells, barking dogs, meowing cats and strange voices. Vet staff may also handle him in unfamiliar ways that can make him more stressed.

Before you take your dog to the vet, prepare him for what is in store by first looking into pet insurance and then help him feel more relaxed by following these tips:

1. Visit your clinic before your actual appointment. Introduce him to the smells and sounds of the clinic when it’s quiet so it won’t be entirely new to him when you go for an exam. Let him meet staff members, receive treats, even get on a scale; allow him to sniff the exam room. A few visits like this will help him to associate a positive experience with the vet clinic.

2. When things are quiet and calm at home, you can begin to help your dog become comfortable with being handled for a medical exam. Gently pat him on different areas of his body while he is relaxed, imitating how the vet will examine your dog. Try touching around his eyes and ears, gently holding his feet and toes, lifting his lips and touching his teeth, gently moving his legs, etc.

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3. Take some practice drives to somewhere fun, so your dog learns that a ride in the car can end in a positive experience. Some dogs never go anywhere in the car other than the vet and may associate it with a stress, which may make him tense as soon as you leave the house.

4. A tired dog is more relaxed and easier to manage—be sure to wear your dog out with exercise before his exam!

5. Remember that your dog looks to you for cues on how to act and react—stay calm and unconcerned so he knows there’s nothing to worry about.

6. In the waiting area, keep your pet on a short leash and maintain control of him. If he shows any signs of aggression, it is best to have him muzzled for everyone’s safety.

7. Take your small dog into the clinic in his carrier. He’ll feel more comfortable with his blanket, toys, etc., in a familiar place.

8. Reward your dog after the exam by taking him to play somewhere fun!

Your veterinarian and clinic staff will also appreciate you taking the time to help your dog be as calm and comfortable during his visit as possible.

For more information about pet health or to learn more about dog and cat insurance, visit Pets Best Insurance.

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