This week I've spent a LOT of time at the vets - something which could be potentially stressful to some dogs. Fortunately mine seem to regard it as yet another opportunity to earn more high quality treats :mrgreen:
It makes me sad when I see stressed animals at the vets, because it's fairly easy to make them tolerable occasions (and in some cases even happy events!) with a bit of forward planning.
Here are some ideas to turn a potentially negative experience into a nice big positive one!
- Get your dog used to being handled - use those ad breaks between your favourite soaps as time to check your dog over in the evening.
- Reward each body part you check over with one really tasty treat - so being checked over becomes massively rewarding.
- If your dog is comfortable being checked over by you, ask friends or family to do so and pay handsomely for good behaviour.
- Practice restraining your dog by the collar or around their body like a vet might have to - reward heavily with something delicious.
- Cover your table in something non-slip and reward your dog for standing/ sitting quietly whilst high up.
- Whilst on the table, go through checking them over as you have done on the floor.
- Pop in to your vets to say hello. Have some tasty treats and do a short (10 treats) training session in the waiting room.
- If your dog is comfortable and eager to meet the veterinary staff, ask them if they would treat your dog for sitting or lying down.
- Check your dog over in your vet surgery waiting room - get them comfortable with the idea of being checked over in that environment.
- Make an appointment with a vet nurse for a check over in the consultation room - and take something amazing in as a reward.