Preparing Your Dog for Their First Veterinary Exam

Preparing Your Dog for Their First Veterinary Exam

Preparing Your Dog for Their First Veterinary Exam

Health is a critical aspect of ensuring your dog lives a happy life. Annual visits to the veterinarian play a vital role in your furry friend's health. Unfortunately, your dog may not like anything about the vet. The first veterinary exam can be a nightmare. They may not understand the need for the visit and do their best to escape it. 


A veterinary exam is essential to keep your dog healthy. Here are a few ways to help prepare your dog and make its first veterinary exam a pleasant experience.




Most dogs are uncomfortable and shy around strangers. As a result, they may be anxious and fearful during their first exam at the vet. They may become aggressive if put in situations away from you where strangers are doing most of the handling.


Dogs that may not be aggressive or misbehave can change their nature when the situation becomes stressful. Socializing them can help avoid such scenarios. Introduce your dog to new environments, situations, and people often. Doing so will help them see strangers as trustworthy and reduce their chances of getting violent at the vet. 


Future veterinary exams or visits will be pleasant if your dog starts being comfortable in new situations from an early age.


Help Your Dog Relax


Dogs find it difficult to adjust to getting touched and examined by a doctor. You can change this before your dog’s first visit for its veterinary exam. You can do so by helping them get used to touching through simple exercises.


Start by getting your dog used to you touching their mouth, feet, and ears. Do it gently as they relax. Employ dog training tactics if they act aggressively. Do so to help correct them, then repeat the gentle touching until they respond positively. Reward them every time they react positively. Hence, your furry friend will learn that getting touched is not a negative thing, reducing their chances of lashing out at someone different.


Exercise Your Dog


Exercising can take off much energy from your dog. The workout is ideal if it is not ill or injured but is going for its annual veterinary exam or vaccination. Help it feel at ease by taking a walk around the park or playing fetch. Doing so will reduce the chances of it exhibiting behavioral problems during its appointment at the veterinarian.


Notify the Veterinary Staff Before the Appointment


Dogs can sometimes feel uncomfortable in some situations, even if they are well-trained in obedience. Their dislike for other animals can heighten in stressful situations.


Notify the veterinary office staff to ensure they keep your dog away from other pets and people until the vet wants to see them. Doing so will relieve you and your dog of more anxiety.


Remain Calm


Training your dog to be obedient is vital. It will follow what you tell it, including how you behave. Thus, your attitude in some situations is crucial. As sensory creatures, they can pick up on how you feel and behave. 


Avoid showing how nervous you feel when you take them to the vet. Your dog will feel more at ease if they sense that you are calm. 


For more about veterinary exams or to book a visit, call The Pets Place Animal Hospital at (951) 684-2181 to reach our Riverside, California office.

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