Being a dog owner, you know how much work it takes to get your dog to willingly go to the vet or groomer's, and that it usually doesn't happen without a fight. To combat this, you have to get them used to being in a car and familiar with these activities, but the real question is, how?
In this guide, ways to help calm down your dog when they are fearful and anxious when going to the vet or just from being in a car will be discussed to make your life a lot easier when it is time to go. The first step to achieving this is to figure out why they may be feeling anxious and how to help when going to the vet.
The main reason why so many dogs and other domestic pets are afraid of going to the vet is that they know that it is the place where many uncomfortable and painful situations happen. Anxiety is caused by uncertainty and fear, so it is no surprise that this occurs with them, just as it does for us when going to the doctor's office.
Getting rid of your dog's anxiety around visiting the vet will be a long and tedious process, so make sure that you keep that in mind right off the bat. It can be frustrating and hard to deal with at times, but if you let these emotions get to you, especially around your dog, it will make their anxiety levels even higher.
After you make yourself less anxious, it is time to start removing the fear from the trip, which begins in the car. Your dog will notice that they only get in the car when they have to go the vet or the groomer's, so you will have to tackle this way of thinking by taking them to fun places in the car as well.
Making the time and effort to drive them around just to stick their head out of the window, or to enjoy playtime at a dog park will make them dread car rides less often, making it much easier to get them in the car in the first place instead of playing tug-a-war when you have an appointment.
After you handle your dog's car anxiety, you can then move on to tackling the hard part, which is the vet's office. Taking your dog to the vet more frequently will ease their anxiety over time and will show them that the visit isn't always as bad as they think it is.
You can start by taking them there just to say hi and get used to the surroundings of the place without any checkups. This will get your dog more acquainted with the staff as well so that you can aid in easing their stress with familiarity. Making their yearly checkups more frequent will also get them more used to going.
Another way to help your dog at the vet is by using special treats to reward them with when they have to go. During times such as when they are getting a shot, or nasal spray are also good times to give them a treat and affection so that they will know that these situations are good for them and that they should not be afraid.
Incorporating commands like sit, stay, and turn around will also help tremendously when at the vet. Having to physically move them to the way you want will stress out your pup, and giving them something to do will put their attention more on pleasing you, easing the anxiety that way as well.
When it comes to getting your dog groomed, a lot of the same anxiety calming tips apply for when they go to the vet, with a few suggestions of its own. When going to get groomed, you not only have to get them used to going on a regular basis, but it will also help to get them comfortable with the process at home.
Start off by touching your dog's feet, tail, ears, and nails when they are puppies so that they will learn that there is nothing wrong with contact in those areas. A lot of the anxiety that stems from these types of visits come from the dog not being comfortable being handled in this way, so incorporating this into your routine will help a lot.
Getting your pet used to car rides, visiting the groomer for fun and allowing them to get to know the staff, and reinforcing corporative behavior are all surefire ways to alleviate your dog's stress levels. If these techniques are not working fast enough for you, the next section will discuss other ways to help in more urgent situations.
If the long-term techniques mentioned above are not enough, there are other useful ways to get the results you want faster. One of the most effective and fast ways to ease anxiety is by getting your pet medication to help with it if it is severe.
There is also species-related music that can help with anxiety, which is classical music specifically for dogs. You can play this in the car on the way to your destination to make them feel more peace.
Over-the-counter tablets are also a great and safe option to use to calm your dog from the inside. These tablets are made with calming herbs such as chamomile, which many of us know from experience has incredible effects on the mind.
Easing a dog's stress and anxiety is no walk in the park, but with the right amount of patience and effort, your dog will become excited to get in the car and go to the vet or groomer's. Thank you for reading this article, and we hope that it was helpful for you and your furry little friend.