As any dog owner can testify a visit to the vet isn’t always fun and games. Your best friend can either enjoy the trip of it can be a nightmare which you as the owner are not going to enjoy. If in the past your dog has had a traumatic experience being injured or neutered they may remember that the vet isn’t a fun place to visit. I have often felt my Labrador remembers the smell of a place and perhaps associates with that smell with what experience he enjoyed their last time.
Some dogs require a fair bit of Veterinarian attention and that trip to the vet could almost become a monthly visit. Keeping your pooch happy to head for a visit could in the long run save you a whole bunch of headaches.
Getting your dog in the car before the Trip to the Vet
If your pet doesn’t normally enjoy a car ride preparing for the drive can be something you need to plan in advance. A good seat cover for your trip to the vet can take some time to install but be truly worth it when it comes to keeping the backseat clean and tidy for human passengers. Not only that a good cover will give your dog some grip with his paws when cornering and allow for harness attachment to hold your favorite pet steady. I hesitate to say it but some breeds dont travel well and a nice waterproof backseat cover may save you from cleaning up a bit of doggy puke after you get back from the trip to the vet!!
- Familiarize your dog with getting in and out of the car so they are used to traveling. Try short trips to the local park instead of walking there so your pet is more comfortable traveling. Also for getting your pooch in the car try a word to symbolize your command. I use “backseat” with my Labrador and with the back car door open it clearly tells him we are off somewhere and what I require of him.
- The good old bag of treats can never be taken for granted. Many dogs are food orientated and a small treat every now and then will most like guarantee their good behavior. It can help with getting and keeping their attention and a small bribe might even help with getting them to stand still long enough on the scales so they can be weighed.
- My dog attended puppy school at the same vet we continue to visit. So for him a trip to the vet is going to see some familiar and new faces. All the nurses and vets know us by name and give him a pat. Dont ever discount becoming part of the vet family with your pet. That little bit of TLC can make that visit a fun excursion for your dog.
- As per the bag of treats scheduling a Trip to the vet just before a feeding time can work in your favor. I am yet to meet a vet who doesn’t have a small treat for a visiting pooch and if your dog is hungry this provides incentive for good behavior and another fond memory of the visit.
- Last but not least we all recognize vet fees are not cheap but at the same time we all want the best for our dog. I found by asking for it my vet offered a VIP discount card and in fact now they offer a proper program for people to join. Members gain access to a certain number of free visits, discounts on food and a monthly newsletter keeping my updated on seasonal changes and with some luck helping me keep an eye out so a Trip to the vet isn’t needed.
- Talking to your pooch can often make the drive easier. I swear my Lab knows when I am going to corner and break simply by me using my voice more. I tell him to “hang on” when we corner and take off and talk to him almost constantly so he feels part of the team for the journey. You may not always have your dog in the car with you but this is a great idea for those of us who do.
Have fun in the car with you and your best mate and dont forget to warn them when your about to take off
*** Photos thanks to Steve Snodgrass & fallsvetclinic ***