5 Steps to Take Before Your Dog’s First Trip to the Vet

Regular veterinary exams are essential for every dog and puppy, especially when you first adopt them. Puppies need vaccinations on a regular schedule and should be spayed or neutered when your veterinarian recommends the procedure. Spaying and neutering help to keep your dog healthy. The surgery prevents unwanted litters of puppies that contribute to the homeless pet population. Diagnostic tests should be done on a regular basis to detect any abnormalities. Dogs and puppies adopted from a shelter could have an existing medical problem or may not have a medical history.

Helpful Steps Before Your Dog’s First Visit

Start your training early

Start training as soon as you adopt your dog. Young puppies are even capable of learning simple commands like “sit” and “stay.” Teaching the command “watch me” is helpful when the vet is examining your dog since your dog is focused on you and not what’s going on around him.

Car rides should be fun

Get your dog accustomed to car rides before the vet visit. If your dog associates getting in the car with going to the vet, you may have stress-related issues to deal with. Begin with short car rides and gradually increase the duration. Your dog will start to associate riding in the car with a fun experience. Make sure the dog is safe in a carrier or use restraint. Don’t feed a large meal before the ride to avoid car sickness. Reward your dog with a treat for good behavior.

Dogs are curious – let them explore

The first visit could be an introduction to a new environment. Ask someone on staff at the hospital if you can stop by with your dog when it’s not peak time. When there aren’t a lot of strange cats and dogs in the waiting area, it could be less overwhelming for your dog. This is where choosing the right veterinarian matters; the best vets offer tours, make friends with your dog, and ultimately assure that the experience is positive.

Socialization matters

Socialize your dog as much as possible. Go for walks to different places and introduce him to a few new people each week. Some animal hospitals have a policy of not allowing owners to hold their dogs during examinations. A properly socialized dog is less likely to be fearful or aggressive when being held by a vet tech for an exam.

Schedule at less busy hours to reduce your pet’s anxiety

When you schedule, try not to make the appointment during peak hours. Your dog could get anxious waiting and could be more challenging to handle. On the day of the exam, take your dog for a walk or plan some playtime before the visit. If possible, collect a stool sample. Don’t feed a large meal before the visit. A small amount of food is less likely to cause digestive upsets. Give your dog some time to relax at home after the vet appointment, then feed an average amount of food.

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