Teaching Your Dog to Love Going to the Vet Office
If you could do one thing that would teach your dog to love going to the vet office, would you do it? Even if it’s super easy? Well, all you need are lots of yummy treats!
Let’s face it: going to the vet office is scary for your dog, so make it fun by using plenty of yummy treats! Rewarding your dog often is key, so check out this easy way to give your dog treats quickly. Soon, your dog will look forward to vet visits because when she’s there it rains peanut butter!
Why Give Treats?
Giving your dog treats in a scary situation will positively change her emotional state. In fact, zookeepers have begun adopting similar training methods to slowly teach their animal charges to accept veterinary care such as immunizations. Working with animals in a positive manner, they have learned, is far less stressful than using force or tranquilization–for both humans and animals.
Think about it from a human perspective. If it only rains $100 bills during a blood draw, you would ignore the pain and actually look forward to giving blood. It’s the same way with dogs (and cats). Tossing bits of blue cheese, deli meat, hot dogs, squeeze cheese and peanut butter are excellent ways to keep your dog happily busy during veterinary exams. Don’t be stingy with treats–more is certainly better in this situation.
Quick Treat Dispensing Idea
Delivering treats quickly is essential for success. Stuff a Kong toy to the brim with creamy peanut butter and place it on your dog’s nose. As your dog licks away, pull the toy upward until your dog is standing comfortably. While your dog licks the toy, touch your dog’s body, gently flip her ears back, rub your hands along her sides and touch her feet. It’s best to practice this behavior several times at home first before using this behavior at the vet office. After daily practice for 1-2 weeks, bring 1-2 filled Kong toys to each vet visit going forward. Bringing treats to your dog’s vet visit is just as important as your car keys–you can’t go unless you have plenty of treats.