DESIGNER PUPPYS: Everything you wanted to know about raising designer or mixed breed dogs,
featuring The BOYZ: Prince Alvin His Cuteness (on left) and Sir Simon The Sad, Cockapoo pups.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What You Can Do To Prevent Dog Anxiety During A Vet Visit

Does your dog get anxious going to and during a vet visit? Sir Simon AND Prince Alvin turn into balls of mush as soon as we're within 5 minutes of the office. Then, they want to be picked up on the way into the office and held while waiting for the vet.

I can't say that I blame them and I wonder how they fared at the animal hospital during their stays for neuter and knee surgery.

Apparently there are several things you can do to ease their anxiety and make it easier on them and the vet. That's the theme of an article that spells out 5 things to teach your dog to improve vet visits by Colleen S Koch, DVM, KPA CTP.

Here's the condensed version:

1. Touch - if your dog is used to being touched, it makes the vet's exam much easier and less stressful for your dog.

2. Stand Still - it is difficut for dogs to stand still for even short periods of time. The boyz's groomer has taught them to stand still and I'm sure the vet is happy with that lesson!

3. Down positions - helps the vet examine your dog for any number of things - fleas, ticks, sores and to take x-rays.

4. Clicker trained dogs make everyone’s life easier. Why? When the vet clicks, the dog knows he has done something right! See When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs for lessons on how to train your dog with a clicker.

5. Hand target with nose. Apparently this has many different applications at a vet's office or clinic, including the following:
If dogs know how to hand target it helps us to move them around the clinic; on scales, into kennels, from one kennel to another, and makes them more comfortable in stressful situations.

It is much easier to apply Elizabethan collars as well as put on muzzles if your dog knows how to target. Dogs that know how to hand target can be easily distracted by the “trick” during uncomfortable situations, or moving past another “scary” dog or thing. You can also use this to help your dog learn to stand still, for any purpose.

So, what do you think? I say anything that eases a dog's anguish is worth the effort! No one likes to see a pained and feaful doggie expression (on a dog, that is!)