Fear-Free Vet Visits for Dogs
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
A little preparation on your part and yummy rewards can make the Vet a familiar place with good associations for your pup.
For many pets, car trips seem to end poorly (in the pet's opinion). If you take your dog for car rides to things they enjoy like a hike or a park, or even just a ride around the block, you can retrain them to tolerate trips more readily. Follow the car trip with lots of praise and rewards to ensure the experience is somewhat positive.
Synthetic pheromones mimic scents animals create to calm themselves and others, they're available for both dogs and cats, and in many cases they can help calm an anxious pet. Spritz some on a towel that can ride to the vet with your dog, or try a pheromone collar.
Hungry is Better
If you withhold food before your vet visit, your pet will be more excited to take treats at our hospital, which enhances the reward. Bring your pet's favorite treats with you and give them each time your pet goes through a step of the process: going through the front door, being weighed, getting a temperature, and allowing the staff to perform treatments.
Some pets really need a little more help than a loving owner can provide. If your pet is one of these, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety medication for your next visit.