5 Tips for Reducing Your Dog’s Stress During Vet Visits

It’s no secret that dogs hate vet and grooming visits. Can you blame them? Getting poked and prodded certainly upsets the daily routine of eating, sleeping and playing. Vet trips are similar to how we feel about dental exams: uncomfortable and inconvenient but absolutely necessary.

Every pet owner knows that annual check-ups and vaccinations are critical to a dog’s long-term health. Unfortunately, providing the best care for your dog requires an anxiety-laden trip to the vet’s office every once in a while.

But, vet and grooming appointments don’t need to be such traumatic experiences for pets or pet parents. Follow our advice below to relieve the stress and anxiety associated with vet visits:

1. Reward Good Behavior 

Bring plenty of treats to reward your dog’s good behavior from the waiting room to the exam table. Keep meals light to help maintain an appetite before your dog’s next vet or grooming trips. Treats provide positive reinforcement and can encourage good behavior when you’re at the vet.

2. Keep Them Occupied

If your pup gets nervous or anxious at the vet, you can bring a favorite toy to provide a familiar scent and source of comfort in a strange environment. Toys can also keep your four-legged friend occupied the car and while waiting for your appointment.

3. Start with a Happy Visit

Schedule a meet and greet with your veterinarian before your dog’s next appointment. Many veterinary clinics encourage “happy visits” where the staff gets a chance to pet your dog and feed them treats. By introducing your pup to the vet, it may help your dog relax and feel comfortable during vet examinations.

4. Try Practice Runs

Prove to your pup that car rides don’t always end up at the veterinarian. You can take your dog on “joy rides” that end with a treat or walk in the park. That way, your dog won’t associate the car with only vet appointments. Trust us: it will make car rides a much more pleasant experience.

5. Use Calming Supplements

Give your dog a Composure™ chew to promote calm behavior before a vet visit. It’s clinically shown to work within 30 minutes and last up to 4 hours.* If your dog feels a little extra stress, it’s suitable to double or triple your dog’s amount of Composure. Available in bacon, chicken and peanut butter flavored-chews,  Composure™ is so tasty your pup will be begging for more!