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Are You Currently Experiencing Frustration When You Take Your Dog to the Veterinarian?

If you answered yes, to the above question read this post to learn how to create a more peaceful experience with your dog at the veterinarian.  I personally know how frustrating it can be to walk up to the door of a vet clinic and see the fear in your dog.  Unfortunately, for many dogs going to the vet is a negative experience.  You can change this by applying training dog training.  Salt Lake City has many veterinarians that are more than happy for you to train your dog inside their clinic.

1.) If you have a puppy begin acclimation to the vet now.  You can take your puppy to the vet and just allow fun activities to occur with no actual vet visit.  There are some vets that love for you to bring your dog into the vet just for dog training.  Salt Lake City has the Animal Care Center where they pay you to bring your dog just for you to perform dog training and no vet visit is needed!  Your pup will be happy to know that the vet can predict fun activities too!!  You can also do this with an adult dog as well.

2.) Practice handling your dog / puppy at home and pair the handling with treats.  You can touch your dog’s paws and C/T (click and treat).  Do this exercise with all of your dog’s body parts such as their ears, mouth, and tail.

3.) When you take your dog / puppy for an actual vet visit bring your clicker and treats.  Pair each treatment process with clicks and treats.  It can be very helpful for your dog to receive clicks and treats while your vet is trimming his nails, cleaning his ears, taking his temperature, etc.

4.) Talk to your pet in a happy voice during vet visits.

5.) Even during an actual vet visit do fun activities with your dog such as playing with toys or performing fun tricks like spin, wave, etc.  This will lighten the energy for both you and your pet.

6.) Above all your veterinarian should be great with your dog.  It is best if they are aware of your dog’s body language and move slowly.  Their interactions should be conscious and be done in ways that create the least amount of stress for your dog.

7.) If your dog needs to be muzzled, practice muzzle conditioning and having your dog wear the muzzle at home in positive situations first.  Use counter conditioning or classical conditioning training technique.  The site of the muzzle or wearing the muzzle is an indicator that treats will be given.  As a result, the muzzle then begins to predict good things.  This takes commitment with dog training. Salt Lake City has many positive dog trainers for you to choose from.  If your dog is biting at the vet, It is best to work with a professional dog trainer.

The biggest step is acclimation.  Dogs feel much more comfortable when they are slowly introduced to an uncomfortable experience.  It is even better if this uncomfortable experience predicts good things such as yummy treats.  In time, your dog will be comfortable in past situations where he was uncomfortable.

We are excited to hear from you in a comment below!

How does your dog react when you take him to the vet?  What are some actions you can do to create positive experiences at the vet?


Johanna Teresi, Professional Dog Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City

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