Visiting the vets is a necessary part of a dog’s life. Acclimatising your puppy to the handling and some of the other procedures that may happen there can go a long way towards helping him to be calm and relaxed at the vets.

  • To be a good patient, your puppy will need to accept:
    • Handling, informal at first and then handling for a clinical examination Handling by strangers
    • Being on a table
    • Having nails clipped
    • Being muzzled

Practice all of these often while your puppy is still young.

Man holding dog on tableIn addition, your veterinary practise may let you visit the surgery with your puppy while he is growing up. Take food treats and give them to the staff to give your puppy so he has pleasant encounters with them. If they will let you, or have time to help you, put him up on the table and handle him all over as a vet would to examine him (having first accustomed him to this at home), and put him on the weighing scale so that he gets used to this too.

Take advantage of any puppy parties run by your vets. These are a great way to develop a relationship with the staff as well as getting your puppy used to all the sights and smells of the surgery in a relaxed informal way.

Taking the trouble to get your puppy used to the vets early in his life will make him much easier to handle if he is sick or injured. Since he will not be so stressed or anxious at the vets, he is likely to be a more compliant patient and to get better more quickly too.