23 Jan | Posted by Cheryl Wilson | no comments |
There are two words I must never say in front of my dog if I don’t want to get a pooch behind the couch sending me a mixture of frighten and evil looks for the next couple of hours.
Those two words are: bath and vet.
I also never wear a white coat. And I certainly won’t buy one. Ever.
When the time comes for the dreaded visit to the doctor, there seems to be nothing you can say or do that will alleviate your animal’s stress. It’s way worse than with children. At least kids can understand that it won’t hurt this time, or that it is just a regular health check without any needles involved. They may choose to believe or not, but they can understand.
With our furry kids, it’s not that simple. In this kind of situation, they depend on us more than ever, and they just can’t help but feel absolutely powerless. All kinds of accidents are possible. Unpredictable or random acts of aggression, crying out loud, pushing both the vet and the human parent and running away, even biting someone… We should understand them, and help them as much as possible.
The best way to do this is to be prepared. Here are a few tips that you may find useful. They have certainly helped me, in more than one situation.
● Get your dog used to physical examinations at home. Sure he won’t like it when you raise his tail or touch his paws or examine his ears and teeth. But when you do it regularly, he’ll get used to it. The ultimate cause is to make him or her feel absolutely comfortable when you do this.
● Choose your vet carefully, and stick with the right one. Of course, you want the best doc for your dog, but don’t try another doctor every time. Once you find a good vet, let him or her become your pet’s lifelong friend. You need to trust your vet, but your dog needs it even more. So, it would be wise to bring your pet here even when it isn’t due, just for the sake of accommodating.
● Bring your dog’s favorite treats. Bear in mind though that you shouldn’t use them as pacifiers! They should serve as a reward for good behavior. The role model for good behavior is – you. So, you shouldn’t share in your trembling and panting canine’s panic, but be calm and relaxed. Of course, this won’t bear fruit right away. But with time, your dog will learn the ways of this world. One of the most persistent and implacable ways of life is that one must swallow the lump and pay a visit to the dreaded white coat every now and then. Especially as the dog grows older.
● Consider bringing a muzzle. Your dog definitely won’t love you more for this, nor fear the doctor less. But sometimes it’s necessary. If the canine has had a particularly traumatic experience in the past, all sorts of unpleasant outcomes are to be expected. Bringing the muzzle is the most responsible thing you could do in such a situation.