How Dog Trick Training Can Improve Vet Visits

How Dog Trick Training Can Improve Vet Visits

Does your dog get nervous at the vet? This blog has some helpful tips.

Teaching your dog a few tricks can calm them down during vet visits. These tricks can also help the vet examine your dog more easily without too much handling.

Read on to find out how to make vet trips less stressful for your pet.

Creating a Positive Vet Visit Experience

Your dog may feel anxious during vet visits. Teaching them a "watch me" cue can help calm them by focusing their attention on you instead of the bustling environment, such as other pets, moving vet techs, or TVs in the waiting area.

While waiting, engage your dog with simple tricks they enjoy, provided they are willing to take treats. Practice commands like 'sit' or fun tricks like 'reach up', keeping your dog on a leash and on a familiar non-skid mat for safety.

Even if your dog is usually friendly, avoid letting them approach other animals at the vet, as they might be unwell or unfriendly. If your dog can heel, use this command to keep them close to you.

If your dog hesitates to enter the exam room, use the 'magnet hand' trick. Hold a few treats in your fist at nose level and reveal them slowly as you lead your dog to the exam room, helping guide them gently in the right direction.

Be Your Dog's Advocate

When it comes to regular vet visits, discuss with the vet and staff how to make the experience comfortable for your dog. You know your dog best and can suggest what helps keep them calm.

Vets are often open to collaborating with owners to reduce stress during visits. You might offer to assist with handling your dog or use tricks to keep them engaged during the exam.

If the waiting area is too hectic, ask if you can wait in your car until an exam room is available.

Useful Dog Tricks For Easier Vet Exams

If your dog is anxious or dislikes being touched, teaching them tricks to present specific body parts can be helpful. This approach minimizes the need for the vet to physically reposition them during examinations.

Trick #1: Paw's Up!

Joyride Harness Dog Tricks Paw's Up

Before your next vet appointment, you might want to teach your dog the 'Paws Up' trick. This involves your dog placing two or all four paws onto a cued object, like a training platform or any sturdy, low object at home.

At the vet's office, this trick can be particularly useful when your dog needs to be weighed. It helps them stay balanced on the scale without trying to jump off, making the process smoother and more engaging for them. Additionally, this trick boosts your dog's confidence by allowing them to mount and dismount the scale on their own, rather than being lifted or forcibly positioned.

Trick #2: Chin Rest

Joyride Harness Dog Trick Chin Rest

The chin rest technique teaches dogs to place their chin in your hand and stay still. This skill is useful not only for grooming sessions but also for vet visits. It provides a calm way to manage your dog, making it easier for the vet to check their eyes, ears, and teeth without stress.

Trick #3: Sit Pretty

Joyride Harness Dog Trick Seat Pretty
The "sit pretty" or "beg" position helps your vet easily access and examine your dog's chest, stomach, and groin areas. While some vets can get a good view with your dog in this position, others might need to inspect these areas more closely.

Trick #4: Paw Shake 

If your dog enjoys greeting people but tends to get too enthusiastic, teaching them to "shake" can provide a constructive way to interact. This trick is also handy during vet visits if the vet needs to check your dog's paws.

Trick #4: Play Dead

Teaching your dog to "play dead" can be useful before a vet checks their feet or belly. Ask your dog to perform this trick during the examination.

Trick #5: Shake Hands

Joyride Harness Dog Trick Shake Hands

If your dog loves to meet new people but gets overly excited, cueing them to shake hands with the staff gives them a way to positively engage. Shake is also useful if your dog’s vet needs to examine your dog’s paws.

If your dog don’t know any tricks yet then practice this…

Use Lures For Positioning

If your dog isn't well-versed in tricks, try using a lick mat or a hollow toy filled with dog-safe treats like spray cheese or peanut butter to guide them into specific positions.

This method works well because dogs naturally follow their noses, which helps them move into the desired stance. Luring not only directs them effectively but also allows them the autonomy to assume positions themselves, such as standing up for a heart check or turning around to expose different sides for examination.

With these simple trick, your next visit to the vet should be less stressful than before 

After your visit to the vet, make sure to treat your dog and do things they enjoy! Put on your dog’s harness and take him for a walk. Let him play at your local dog park, or give him a treat and belly rubs to say, “I love you, too.”


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