Taking your dog to a vet for the first time

by Mark James on June 14, 2012

Going to the vets may be the first journey that you undertake with your new pet and it can often be a traumatic trip for your dog. Puppies can be a bit nervous and fearful when taken to new places or taken to see new people. A trip to the vets can be particularly stressful for a dog due to all the other animals and new smells and sounds.

It can be helpful to bring along some of your dog’s favourite treats to the vet. The treats should be not be used to coax your pet but to reward him and encourage him to be friendly with the vet and their staff members. Staff can also be given some of the dog’s treats so that they too can reward your dog when he is brave. Taking the dog’s favourite toy can also help distract your pet when he needs to be handled by the vet.

The first trip out in the car can be a scary experience for a small puppy, so it can be wise to make sure that your dog is taken out on several small trips in the car before taking him on that first trip to the vet. Otherwise, your dog may associate all car journeys with this stressful situation.

Ultimately, try not to overcompensate for your dog’s fear by fussing over your pet too much. By behaving as if everything is normal and not constantly trying to soothe a fearful pet, you will not reinforce your dog’s fear and he will become accustomed to visits to see a vet.

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