Bringing your dog to the vet does not have to be a traumatic experience if you plan accordingly. Moreover, most dog owners have already brought their dogs to the vet between the six to ten week stages. Even if you have already taken your dog or puppy to its first vet appointment, it is important, nonetheless, to help make its visit to the vet a positive experience. Adhering to some basic tips and avoiding stressful and traumatic scenarios while visiting the vet’s office may accomplish this.
To prepare your puppy for its first vet visit:
• Walk your puppy before bringing it to the vet. Bring a fresh stool sample in a zip lock bag so that the vet can screen for eggs, larva and worms in the stool. Doing this in advance will save you a trip to the vet.
• Bring your dog in his crate if it uses one at home.
• If your pup is too big to carry in a crate, bring it to the vet on a leash. This is a good idea, because even well trained pups may run or get aggressive with other dogs at the vet if they become afraid.
• Notify the vet’s staff that you have arrived and wait in your car until the vet is ready to see your pup if you own one that is aggressive or untrained.
• Speak to your dog calmly and remain in the room while the vet is performing the exam.
• Have a few doggie treats on hand to give your puppy to reward it for good behavior. Your vet may have some treats as well.
Some of the things that your vet will do while it is examining your puppy, include weighing, reading the rectal temperature, checking the ears, eyes and skin, checking the genitals and palpitating the dog’s abdomen. Additionally, your vet will check your dog’s teeth and gums to make sure that they are healthy and may take other samples if they feel that your dog may have been exposed to parasites, such as heartworms and mites.
These exams are not painful to your pup, and the vaccinations are only a quick needle pierce, nothing agonizing. By making your dog’s initial appointment to the vet positive and enjoyable, you are building a great bond between the dog and the vet which will be a win-win situation for you, your dog and the vet. Offer lots of praise to your dog for a good trip to the vet’s. While you and your dog are going home, stop at the park for some exercise or play as a great way to end your dog’s first visit to the vet.
As a responsible dog owner, you owe it to you, your dog and your family to make sure that your dog’s first visit to the vet is as pleasant as possible, because the better your dog feels about going to the vet, the better you will feel about taking him. A healthy dog that visits the vet regularly will better protect you, your family and your home.