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Calm Your Dog’s Fear of the Vet’s Office

With all the pricking, prodding, poking, and probing that happens to your dog at the vet’s office, it’s really no wonder many dogs get quite anxious when they realize they’re heading to the clinic! Use these suggestions from an Indianapolis veterinarian to help your dog remain calm before and during her next vet visit.

Trips to the Clinic

Take your dog on trips to the clinic—without a medical reason! Allowing your dog to get used to the sights, sounds, and smells of the clinic without the fear of an actual exam is a good way to get him more comfortable with the location. Ask your vet if you can bring your dog to visit the waiting room. You might even give the veterinarians and veterinary technicians a few dog treats to give your pooch.

Mock Exams at Home

Set up a table in the basement to perform a fake exam on your dog. Put her on the table and prod her a bit. Lift each leg, lift the tail, and examine your dog’s eyes and ears. You might even try using some fake “tools” to get your dog used to the veterinary instruments used at the clinic. Offer some treats, toys, and plenty of verbal praise after the “exam” so your dog associates good things with it.

Bring Along Distractions

When you visit the clinic for your dog’s real appointment, be sure to pack her favorite toys and bring along some dog treats. Use these to distract your dog as long as possible—keeping her mind off of the other pets and strangers at the clinic for as long as possible will help her stay calmer for a longer period.

Stay Persistent

The key with all of the above methods is to remain consistent. If you fake an exam at home and take a social visit to the clinic, but then do nothing for months until the next real appointment, your dog won’t remember the good experiences she had previously. Remain consistent and persistent with these techniques so your dog can truly get over her fear.

Talk to your Indianapolis veterinarian for more helpful suggestions, as well as other ways to keep your dog calm once she’s at the clinic.

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