Taking your dog to the vet

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It may just be for a regular check-up, a vaccination or because your dog is ill or hurt, but eventually you are going to have to take your dog to the vet.

A trip to the vet can be a stressful experience for your dog. There will be lots of strange sights, smells, sounds, people and animals. There are however a number of things you can do to make sure both you and your dog have a comfortable and stress-free visit to the vet's office.

Make sure to take him out for a good walk before leaving for the vet. This will give your dog an opportunity to urinate; which makes an accident at the vet's less likely. If your dog has already had a period of exercise he'll also be calmer and more docile.

Use a carrier

If your dog is small enough, consider taking him to the vet in a carrier, even if he is usually very good on a lead. A carrier makes sure he can't bite, scratch or try to run away if he becomes frightened. It will also protect your dog from other fractious pets at the veterinary clinic. Finally, if your dog is feeling ill or limping, the crate will be easier on it.

If you're going to use a carrier make sure to put some bedding in it. Some old clothing with your scent on it would be a good choice. Your dog associates you with safety and comfort so smelling you close by will make him feel better.

While in the waiting room, keep your dog calm and under control. Though he may be excited to meet the other animals, it's best to keep him by your side or in your lap. Be sure to give your dog lots of physical attention and talk to him softly, this will help to keep him relaxed.

Ask if you can help

When it's time for your dog to be examined, ask your vet if you can help in holding your dog. Vets and vet nurses are very experienced at holding nervous and frightened animals and know how to avoid getting hurt or hurting your dog. So don't worry; your dog will be in good hands.

Veterinary clinics and hospitals can be very busy places. If you want extra time to talk to your vet about your dog plan for it. Book a longer appointment if you can, or don't come during peak hours. Veterinary clinics are usually at their busiest in the early morning or early evening when people aren't at work.

Take your dog to the vet regularly for check ups and to be weighed. This won't just allow your dog to become accustomed to the experience, but will also get the vet used to your dog! The more a vet sees of your dog the better they will be able to address its needs.

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