Ten Top tips for reducing stress for dogs visiting the vet

Ten top tips for reducing stress for dogs visiting the vet
  1. Visit the surgery in advance with your dog to familiarise them – make it a short, happy visit (maybe just for a weight check) with lots of treats and praise – then your dog will be happier to return.
  2. Tell our friendly reception team if your pet is nervous when booking your appointment – we will try and schedule your appointment at a quieter time. 
  3. Reflect on your own emotional state – dogs are very good on picking up on our moods so if you are worried your pet will be too. Try to resist the urge to calm your pet – just talk to them normally as you would at home and maybe bring some treats for distraction and reward.
  4. Bring your dog into the waiting room on a lead so you can control them – your dog may be friendly but could be in close proximity to others who are less friendly and a waiting room rumpus isn’t the best start to any visit.
  5. Be aware of the Yellow Dog Project – if you see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon, bandana or similar then this is likely to be a dog who requires some additional space. For more information see: www.yellowdoguk.co.uk
  6. Consider dog appeasing pheromone therapy as a collar or spray.
  7. Get your dog used to being handled – at home get your dog used to having his paws and mouth examined.
  8. Think about the questions you have for the vet or nurse before your appointment – write them down if necessary as it is easy to forget.
  9. Get your dog used to being around other dogs – find a good dog training class, consider agility training or going on a group walk. See https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/group-walking-with-your-dog
  10. Exercise your dog before your appointment.