It's a dog eat dog world out there. But it doesn't have to be. We want each and every interaction with your dog to be a rewarding one. That is why we are educating YOU to be an advocate for your pet in all aspects of the veterinary visit as well as being an active participant of the veterinary visit.
Prepare for your veterinary visit at home.
We recommend bringing Fido in fasted. The importance of this is two fold. One, we will likely want to reward your dog for his good behavior with treats as the key to any dog's heart is generally through treats. Also, if we are doing any lab tests, we can generally get more accurate results if they have been fasted for a few hours. If your pet has a favorite food or treat, feel free to bring it along as you know your pet best!
If you know your pet is sensitive around other animals or has behavioral issues that need special consideration, LET US KNOW. We will often be able to accommodate you to bring in your pet at specific times when there is less traffic through the hospital, or we can attempt usher your pet into an exam room right away. While we keep detailed notes on pet behavior during their exam, it helps that you are also aware and can remind us.
Make sure all dogs are properly leashed. Leashes and harnesses should be fitted appropriately. Poor fitting collars and retractable leashes not only put your pet in harms way but put you and our staff at risk for potential injurious situations.
It can help to burn some of that extra energy off prior to an office visit. If your pet is hyperactive, take them for a quick run or exercise them before they come in.
Some dogs absolutely require muzzles for safe handling and it is a good idea to train your dog to wearing appropriately fitted muzzles PRIOR to putting handlers and others at risk. An excellent resource for training your dog to wearing a muzzle can be found at The Muzzle Up! Project's website here.
In the Office
Keep your pet's mind busy. Take the few moments that you are in our office to be an opportunity for training. As you may know, training is never complete, and you can always teach an old dog new tricks.
Come to an exam focused on your pet. It's really 30 minutes of your day that you get to make your pet the center of attention. Turn your phone off, and take the time to tune into what is really going on with your pet in the exam room. Is she sitting? Is she hiding under the chair? Is she bouncing off the walls? Did she vomit in the car?
Try to reduce distractions. We understand life is busy and you're fitting your pet's visit into an even busier agenda, however, thinking about Fido's stress, bringing the entire household along may not be the best idea. We would hate for anyone to get hurt during the visit as well. We can generally accommodate patient drop-off requests if need be.
Allow plenty of time. We have blocked off plenty of time for you, have you blocked off plenty of time for us? Arriving to your appointment on time is a good start. Rushing during your appointment with us may not be the best opportunity to reduce the stress of the visit. Animals do not respond well to the anxiety levels of stressed owners. When everyone has time and takes time we can reduce anxiety and stress levels just by being patient.
Safety. At all times during your dog's trip to the veterinarian, we are thinking about the safety and well being of your pet. Are you? Dogs are animals. They can be unpredictable. They can lash out in fear for seemingly no reasons. They are often not the same dog as they are at home. Our staff are trained in specific handling techniques to properly and safely restrain your dog without doing them harm and without putting themselves and/or you at risk. If your pet has a known bite history, please inform us so that we can continue to do our jobs safely without getting hurt.
Practice Makes Perfect
There is no training effort that will solidify behavior without consistency and follow through and practice.
Practice really does make perfect.
Remember, even trainers go to training classes. Working closely with a trainer can help determine the underlying communication mishaps that may be occurring between owner and pet. It also provides a unique bonding experience that makes pet ownership more rewarding.
Frequent well-pet office visits to weigh a pet and to receive a treat or reward from the front desk or technicians without the stress of a nail trim or examination can help reduce the anxiety of a pet's trip in next time! You are always welcome to come in to make visiting the office part of your training routine. Just call us ahead and we can give you ideal times for a quick visit when there isn't a lot of traffic through the office.
We are happy to consider pre-visit sedation for your pet. We have multiple options from those that experience light anxiety to those that become severe social attack dogs. If you feel your pet would benefit from pre-visit sedation, please do not hesitate to call the office to discuss.