Help make dogs’ vet visits less stressful

Help to keep dogs calm during their next visit to the vet.If you are in the process of pursuing a veterinary technology degree, you no doubt already know that one of the things you will be required to do is make pets’ visits to the vet’s office as un-stressful as possible. While administering medication, providing care or preparing animals for surgery, veterinary technicians can do a great deal to keep animals calm.1 Here are three things that vet techs can do to keep dogs calm during Fido’s next visit to the vet:

1. Encourage non-medical visits

Dogs sometimes become anxious when they are presented with new environments, and that anxiety is compounded if they have to undergo a medical examination. Encourage owners to bring their dogs by the office to say hello, get weighed and sniff around even when they don’t have an appointment. If the sights and smells of the veterinary office become more familiar, it will help keep pets calm when they do have to visit for a medical procedure or examination.2

2. Ask owners to sign in without their pet

Excessive barking and unfortunate confrontations between pets can be avoided by simply asking dog owners to leave Fido in the car while they sign in and explain the medical situation. When you are ready to see the patient, inform the dog owner and ask him or her to retrieve the pet from the car and bring him inside. The less time that Fido spends waiting anxiously in the office, the better – just make sure it’s not too hot or cold outside!3

3. Keep treats on hand

In case owners don’t think to bring in treats to keep their pets calm, have a jar on hand to reward dogs for good behavior (with the owner’s permission, of course). If Fido ever becomes uncooperative during the visit, stop giving him treats so he will learn that sitting calmly and quietly produces a reward.4 However, be sure to ask the veterinarian first as some may prefer that the pet does not eat anything prior to the visit.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘What Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Do,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-2
2 The Whole Dog Journal, ‘Takings Steps to Make Vet Visits Less Stressful For Your Pup,’ Aug. 2011 – http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/4_8/features/5385-1.html
3 Hibbard CPDT-KA, Christine, Behind the Behavior, ‘Do You Dread Going to the Veterinarian?’ Sept. 5, 2011 – http://companionanimalsolutions.com/blogs/do-you-dread-going-to-the-veterinarian/
4 Rivera, Michelle, The Daily Puppy, ‘How Do Dog Groomers Keep Dogs Still?’ 2012 – http://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/dog-groomers-keep-dogs-still-2941.html

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