We must try to make the veterinarian’s life a bit easier. One way to do it is to handle our dogs each and every day, starting in early puppyhood. From the very first day, you should regularly pick your dog up, examine his body, look into his ears and mouth, and check his coat and skin for parasites. Brush and comb him frequently, and give him a delicious treat as a reward after each handling or grooming session.
By desensitizing him to examination from a very early age you will be making your veterinarian’s job much easier. Doing so will help you keep your canine in the best shape possible.
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If your dog already hates going to the veterinarian, there isn’t much that can be done except to attempt to alter his opinion of the place. Try visiting the veterinarian’s office every now and then for a “non-visit.” Take your dog in for a quick “hello” from the staff there, who can (if time allows) pet your dog and give him treats.
You can even play with him right there in the office, provided there are no other animals in the reception area. Take his favourite ball with you and get him to fetch it for a minute. Praise and reward him, then leave with him. If the staff at the clinic is tolerant of your doing this, it will help to at least partially defuse the dog’s fears of going there.
Some dogs become so fear – aggressive that they must be sedated in order to be examined. If this is the case with your pet, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild sedative that the dog can be given before the visit. Normally provided in pill form, the sedative will calm him down enough to allow the exam to take place.
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