When you welcome a new puppy to your family, it is going to be a fun and busy time.
And, with it comes the responsibility of taking care of their health. Regular vet check-ups are crucial in ensuring that your puppy stays healthy and happy. However, much like children and toddlers, many puppies are uncertain about the unknown. And some puppies may feel anxious and scared during their vet visits, making the experience challenging for both the owner and the pup. As your puppy is going to need to see a vet at least once a year for the rest of their life, it is crucial to ensure that they are comfortable in the vet’s office and with being handled.
In this article, some ways you can help your puppy get used to vet check-ups will be looked at, so you can have a healthy and well-behaved puppy!
Start Socializing Your Puppy Early
Socializing your puppy with different people, animals, and environments is essential for their development. Exposing your puppy to new experiences can help them become more confident and less fearful. So, try to take your puppy to different places and introduce them to new people, including your vet, so that they can become familiar with different environments and faces. In fact, some vets, like Tehaleh vets, will be able to give you more information on building a positive association with the team and the setting through socialization. Just be sure to call ahead first!
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a potent tool, and it can help your puppy feel more comfortable during vet visits. Reward your pup with treats, toys, and praise for good behavior during the visit. This will help them associate the vet visit with positive experiences and make them more willing to go in the future.
Practice Handling Your Puppy
Puppies can become anxious and scared if they feel uncomfortable with being touched, so aim to get your puppy happy with being handled by petting them in different areas of their body, including their paws, ears, and tail. This will help them feel more comfortable during vet check-ups when the vet examines them.
Make the Vet Visit Enjoyable
Make the vet visit a fun experience for your puppy by bringing their favorite toy or treat. This can help distract them during the examination and make them feel more at ease. You can also get a blanket or bed to make the examination table more comfortable for your pup.
Stay Calm and Reassuring
Much like children, puppies can sense their owner’s emotions and will react to them. If you’re anxious or stressed, your pup may become anxious and stressed too, making that simple 5-minute wait in a vet waiting room a real struggle. Aim to stay calm and reassuring during the visit to help your puppy feel more relaxed. Speak in a soothing tone and provide comforting touches to help them feel safe. However, if they are overly nervous, refrain from overly petting them, as this can reinforce the idea that they are being rewarded for being scared in this setting.