A vet visit can be stressful and intimidating even for the most well-behaved dog, so it’s important to take some steps beforehand to ensure the process goes smoothly.
If you’re planning to bring your pet in soon, try implementing these 17 tips to prepare your dog for a vet visit before you head out the door.
how to prepare your dog for a vet visit
1) Give Them Time To Get Used To The Carrier Before Going On A Trip:
One of the most stressful things about taking your dog to the vet can be getting them into the carrier.
If you only take your dog out in their carrier when it’s time for a vet visit, they’re going to associate it with anxiety and stress.
To make the process less stressful for both of you, start by leaving the carrier out in your home so they can get used to it.
Put their favorite toy or blanket inside so it smells like home.
Allow them to explore the carrier on their own terms.
Once they’re comfortable, you can start putting them in it for short car rides around the block. With time and patience, your dog will learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of and that trips in the carrier can be fun.
You’ll have an easier time during the vet visit too!
2) Make Sure You Have All Necessary Materials Before The Trip:
Before you even leave for the vet, make sure you have everything you need.
This includes your dog’s leash, collar, and ID tags. You should also bring along any pertinent medical records, as well as copies of past vaccinations.
If your dog is on any medications, be sure to bring those along as well.
3) Praise and Reward Your Pet Throughout The Journey:
Show your dog that you are happy with their behavior. You want to be as calm as possible because this will encourage them to be calm too.
They will be relieved, happy, and much more cooperative when they see how quickly they get rewards.
The more anxious or fearful you are, the more anxious or fearful they will become. It is important not to show fear because then your dog might think it’s okay for him/her to show fear.
If your dog begins to act out, immediately ask for help from the vet and they should tell you what to do.
There are many ways dogs can act out in a vet visit: aggression, anxiety, barking/growling at other animals or people outside of the office.
However, there are also some signs of fear that don’t necessarily mean aggression such as whining and hiding behind furniture.
4) Take Them For Multiple Trips Before Actually Needing Treatment:
If your dog has never been to the vet before, or if it’s been awhile, you’ll want to take them on a few trial runs before their actual appointment.
This will help them get used to the car ride, and the new environment. Plus, it will help you gauge their reactions and see how they do in new situations.
5. Don’t leave your pet unattended outside:
After arriving at the veterinarian’s office, don’t leave your pet unattended outside.
Allowing them to wander freely could result in an escape which could lead to many other problems including injury or death.
6. Bring any medications that may need refilling:
If you know your pet needs medication while at the vet, bring enough medication with you so they won’t have to go without until you get back from the appointment.
7. Maintain Your Pet’s Normal Routine:
Pets like routine so don’t make any drastic changes leading up to their appointment. If they normally go outside at night but are now being kept indoors then that change could cause some distress on top of everything else that’s going on.
8. Be sure to find out if there are any items that are required by the vet office:
For example, many offices require clients to remove all clothing from their dogs before they enter.
Knowing this ahead of time will save you a lot of stress and embarrassment.
9. Make Sure Your Dog Is Well-Behaved:
Once you get to the vet, it’s important that your dog behaves. Whether he needs shots or not, he may need other treatments such as grooming or trimming nails.
Dogs can act up during these times and interrupt the work being done on them. To prevent this from happening, get your pup used to being groomed by doing it at home so he knows what to expect.
10. Get Ready for Other Pets:
Many vets’ offices allow people with pets other than dogs in the waiting room or lobby area (or cats!), so always prepare yourself for an impromptu meeting with other animals!
Training your dog to behave around other pets will really come in handy I’m such situations.
Here are a few more tips that may make your first vet visit easier:
11. Leave early so that the pet isn’t overexcited when they arrive at the office.
12. Also, make sure that you have enough time to give them ample time to become accustomed to their surroundings before meeting with any doctors.
13. Provide plenty of food and water beforehand (but not right after meals).
14. Bring anything that may be soothing like a favorite toy or blanket.
15. Bring plenty of treats that your dog likes as a distraction during treatments and exams (even better if they’re in a slow feeder toy).
16 Practice getting on and off things so that he’ll be comfortable with climbing up onto exam tables, ramps, chairs etc.
17) Don’t forget about taking pictures!
Vising the vet for the first time might be hard for first time pet owners, but don’t worry below we’ve provided answers to some questions you may have concerning taking your dog to the vet.
1. Should you feed your dog before a vet visit?
The answer is not necessarily. If your dog has an upset stomach, it may be best to withhold food and water.
You can consult with the veterinarian as well to see if they have any additional recommendations.
Additionally, some vets will provide a small meal just before going in for the appointment so that their blood sugar levels are stable when they go in. It’s always good to ask first!
2. Should I bathe my dog before taking him to the vet?
Some veterinarians do require that your dog be bathed prior to visiting their clinic.
Most veterinarians will even recommend that you bathe your dog before bringing him in, because it makes everything easier on everyone involved.
Additionally, many dogs are more comfortable when they don’t have fleas or other debris from outside sticking to them.
3. Do I need to take my dog in a crate to the vet?
You may be wondering if you need to take your dog in a crate to the vet.
The answer is, it depends. If your dog is calm and used to being handled, then a crate may not be necessary.
However, if your dog is anxious or aggressive, a crate may be the best way to keep everyone safe.
4. How often should you carry your dog to the vet?
No matter how healthy your dog is, it’s important to take them to the vet at least once a year for a check-up.
But, for some dogs, going to the vet can be a stressful experience.
If you’re concerned about how your dog will react to their vet visit, there are some things you can do to help them (and you) feel more prepared and relaxed.
5. How can I calm my dog down at the vet?
If your dog is anxious or nervous about going to the vet, there are a few things you can do to help them feel more comfortable.
First, try acclimating your dog to the vet office by taking them there for short visits before their appointment.
This will help them get used to the sights and smells of the office.
You can also try desensitizing your dog tovet procedures by playing pretend vet with them at home.
By following these 17 tips, you can help your dog have a positive experience at the vet. Remember to stay calm and be patient with your dog throughout the process.
With a little preparation, you can help make vet visits go smoothly for both you and your furry friend.