Regularly scheduled checkups are essential for your dog’s long-term health. However, for many dogs and dog owners, a trip to the vet is a stressful or frightening experience. There are a number of things you can do to help your pet have a better experience.

Visit regularly

It is important that your dog sees your vet regularly, as this is the first line of defense against a number of conditions that can affect health. Your vet will make sure your pet is fully healthy, from running blood tests to cleaning teeth. You will also get expert advice on how to manage weight control and keep your dog’s coat nice and shiny, a great reflection of inner health.

Furthermore, the more visits you do with your dog the more comfortable he or she will become with the process. Maintaining the same vet also helps your dog get comfortable with another person, and he or she may even look forward to treats from a favorite doctor!

Be supportive of your dog

dog petsIf you notice your dog is acting out more when you go to the vet, don’t try and curb this behavior with discipline, as you may only stress your pet out more. First of all, help your pet relax in the waiting room by giving plenty of petting and using a soft tone of voice to reassure him or her.

Secondly, accompany your pet into the exam room, as your presence will help them relax during the visit. You’ll be able to calmly speak to your dog and even pet or hold them while certain procedures are being done.

Get plenty of exercise before

As parents with young children will tell you, having them run around can help prevent them from hyperactivity. Take your dog for a long walk before going to the vet, or make sure you spend plenty of time actively playing, and your dog will likely feel far more relaxed for his or her appointment.

Make it fun

A great thing you can do to help your dog enjoy vet visits more is to make the whole process absolutely fun! For dogs that love car rides, this is a great way to promote their favorite activity, and for those who may not, make sure favorite toys and treats are available and ready.

Schedule special activities like a trip to the park or playtime with a friend, so that your dog begins to associate vet visits with a fun day.

Ask questions

One of the best things you can do as a dog owner is proactively take care of your pet’s health. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, whether you are taking a pet to a veterinary specialty hospital because of an emergency or are just visiting a local provider for a routine checkup. Your vet wants your pet to be in his or her best health, and will happily give you information to help you make the right decisions for your dog.