Many dog owners have faced this problem – their dog is afraid of the vet and the vet’s assistant. As a result, your dog’s anxiety prevents him from taking the necessary exams.
Grooming and vet exams are stressful for both people and animals. It’s easy to get upset and react negatively, but that’s not what you should do. This article will teach you how to train your dog to accept these procedures without getting upset.
You probably know that your dog doesn’t like having its coat and ears trimmed. However, you also know that it’s a necessary part of keeping your pet healthy. But it’s also important to remember that your dog is a creature of habit.
When it comes to grooming and vet exams, your dog will follow the same pattern. If you don’t want to make your pet unhappy, you need to be patient and teach it that these things are routine and necessary.
Teaching your dog to accept handling of different areas of its body will be good for both of you. If you teach your dog that these things are normal and harmless, it won’t put up a fight every time they need to be done.
What to Do if Your Dog Gets Upset During Grooming or Vet Exams
If your dog is nervous about grooming or vet exams, you may be able to change his behavior by associating grooming and vet check-ups with positive experiences. Ultimately, the goal is to condition him so that he associates these procedures with good things instead of unpleasant ones.
Please remember many dogs are happy, well adjusted animals even if they are afraid of grooming or vet exams. You may be able to help your dog get used to the process but it will probably never become his favorite activity.
If Your Dog is Fearful of Grooming
If you have a pet who gets nervous around grooming time, you’ve probably given some thought to solve this problem before by trying everything from treats to medications to shaving your dog’s coat off. If none of these techniques has worked, try the one below instead. This is a technique called counterconditioning and desensitization, but all you really need to remember is that you’re going to change the way your dog feels about grooming by associating it with something he loves (like food).
First, make an appointment with your groomer to get your dog used to his or her scent. You can even ask whether you can be there during the session; this will help familiarize both your dog and the groomer with each other’s presence. Bring along some of your dog’s favorite treats when you go in for the grooming session. Let the groomer know that you’re trying to ease your dog’s anxiety about being groomed, and ask him or her not to take it personally if your dog gets nervous or backs away.
Once you’ve brought your pooch home from the grooming parlor, give him something he really loves (like a big bone) while someone brushes his coat. This will help him associate grooming with something positive. The next time the two of you go in for a grooming session, bring along another treat and be extra generous with your pup‘s favorite reward so he associates this experience with feeling great.
If Your Dog is Afraid of Vet Exams
If your dog gets nervous or aggressive every time he has to go to the vet, you need to take steps to get him over it so that he’s not a danger or an inconvenience. It may be scary for you, but imagine what it must feel like for your dog! Most dogs don’t understand why they’re at the vet and pick up on their owners’ anxious feelings.
You can help get your dog over this fear by trying counterconditioning and desensitization.
First, make an appointment to visit the vet in a way that is most comfortable for you and least stressful for your pet (a quiet setting with no strange noises). There’s nothing less comfortable than standing around in an office with lots of other dogs and people, so try to do this in a quiet area like the waiting room.
Bring your dog’s favorite treats with you and make sure he has something nice (a treat or his chew toy) when he gets home. Offer your pet plenty of love even if he misbehaves; this will help reinforce the idea that vet visits are positive instead of unpleasant.
As with any behavioral conditioning, you’ll want to set the bar low and work your way up. Start by making a series of very short visits: in and out in less than five minutes. During each visit, ask the vet to do something simple like take his temperature or draw blood; don’t make him stay for an exam. At each visit, give your dog a treat so he learns to associate the vet’s presence with something positive. Gradually build up to longer visits until you can ask for an entire exam without any fussing from your pooch.