Taking Your Dog to the Vet for the First Time: Here’s What to do
If you are the proud owner of a new dog, then you will have already had time to settle them into their new home and give them plenty of love. In return, they would have fully checked out your home and made it their own. At some point, you will probably want to take them to the vets to have a check-up, or for a problem. Not all dogs react the same way to a visit to the vet, so learning how to deal with it is the best way to stop any incidents when you arrive.
Puppies and Adult Dogs
There can be a big difference between the way a puppy and an adult dog behave at the vets. If your puppy has never been to the vet before, they will most likely be excited to be visiting a new place, and that is something you want to encourage. Older dogs may have had bad experiences which have led to mistrust and even fear when they go to the vets. You should try to make the visit rewarding and as relaxing as possible.
What to Expect
If you have never had a pet before, you won’t know what to expect from your visit. If you are taking a puppy for its first visit, then the vet will check their heart, lungs, ears, and coat to make sure everything is fine. They may also get their first vaccinations which may make them a little sleepy later on in the day. The same check-up is also performed at your dog’s annual check. It is good to keep this routine every year, and if possible, with the same vet so that they get to trust them.
Before You go to the Vets
Before you take the trip to the vets, take your dog for a walk, this will help them to burn off a little energy and prevent accidents in the car or at the surgery. If you have a puppy, then play with them for a while, and try not to let them sleep before they get there, or they will wake up full of energy. For puppies and small dogs, it is sometimes best to place them in a crate. If you don’t have one, then they can be obtained from companies such as Pet Crates Direct. Be sure to buy the correct size for your dog.
When You Arrive
When you get to the vets, you need to be confident when you walk into the waiting area and the consultation room. Your dog will be looking for signals from you to tell them if it’s safe. Take them to a quiet area of the waiting room if there is one, and try to keep them on your lap or by your side. Offering them a treat for good behavior will reinforce the good experience and hopefully prevent any issues in the future.
Hopefully, your dog will have a good experience and come to see the vets as another exciting place to visit.