Tips to make vet visits easier

  • Walk dogs in the morning before bringing them into the clinic. This allows them to urinate/defecate in normal surroundings and helps discourage accidents once at the clinic. An exercised dog is generally a calmer dog as well.
  • Discuss with the veterinarian whether your dog should eat or take medications before coming in to the clinic. Some tests and procedures require animals to be fasted (not fed). 
  • Use a flat leash or slip lead always. Leave the flexi-leads in the car as they do not provide adequate control and are sometimes difficult for the staff to handle/operate. Dogs should be leashed before getting out of the car when on premise at the clinic, even if they are normally don’t need one.
  • Keep your dog away from other animals while at the clinic. Some will be stressed by being in the clinic and won’t appreciate the close contact while on leash. Others may have contagious disease that are not apparent or a suppressed immune system making them susceptible to diseases.
  • If your dog needs special accommodations at the clinic, discuss this with the staff prior to your appointment.
  • Bring your dog’s favorite reward with you (treats, toys, balls, etc). Use it to reinforce good behavior at the clinic and to help ‘break the ice’ between your dog and the staff.
  • It is unlikely that you will be able to restrain your dog, or even be present, for procedures while at the clinic. Understand that not only is this for the safety your animal, but also is generally easier on your dog to be restrained by professionally trained staff.
  • Think about keeping your attitude light and nonchalant for your dog’s sake. If you are stressed or worried, he may pick up on that and become worried himself. Consider the staff your friends and your dog will too.
  • Whenever possible, leave other animals or children at home for your dog’s appointment. These distractions can often make it difficult to concentrate on the staff’s questions and may add stress to your dog’s visit. Instead, treat the visit as a special outing for you and your dog. Stop for a short walk/sniff on the way there and on the way home, if possible.
  • Write down any questions you may have and bring them with you to the appointment.
  • Bring all medications with you so the staff can confirm dosages, frequencies and interactions.
  • Make visits to the clinic with your dog when you won’t be seeing the doctor. Walk him in, sit him on the scale, have the staff give him a reward and then leave. Keep the visit short and sweet. This will help ease any fears your dog may have about the clinic.

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