Let's Get Your Puppy Ready For Their First Vet Check!
Step #1 Handling
It’s really important to get our dogs used to being handled. Remember we are making the unnatural natural. We want to be able to touch paws, ears, eyes, the tail area etc. If the dog won’t let us do this when it’s training or when it’s calm, we are not likely to get it done when it’s under stress at the vet. It’s really important we practice this handling exercise.
Use tasty treats for positive re-enforcement. Get the dog's nose engaged. Then gently, going at the dog's pace, touch all areas of the body making it a positive experience to be handled so that eventually we will be able to get ear drops or eye drops in if necessary.
Step #2 Useful positions
A very useful pose for your dog to know when visiting the vet is the flat position, stay. We may need to put ear drops in, maybe check underneath the dog, or remove things from paws or the back of the dog so if your dog knows the basic positions it will help.
Step #3 Introduce items
What’s important here is that the dog has positive associations with items they might experience at the vet.
You can introduce different surfaces that might be similar, for example, to the scales at the vet. If you can get hold of a stethoscope that would be great. We want the dogs to get used to these things.
Get the dog used to having nail clippers around the feet area. You don't need to clip the nails initially - just get the dog happy with the idea of the clippers touching their feet.
You can get also get some vet wrap or a muzzle which could be needed at the vet if the dog is under stress or has an accident.
It’s important to have positive associations around these items so make it fun, that’s the key.
About Adem Fehmi, The Dogtor
Behaviourist Adem Fehmi has always known that helping dogs and their owners would be his life’s work. His passion and fascination with dogs started as a young child and he has devoted himself to the happiness of these amazing creatures and the humans who love them.
As a boy, he desperately wanted a dog of his own and by the time he was nine years old, he had washed enough cars and run enough errands in the local neighbourhood to have finally raised the money for his first dog. He soon learnt two important lessons. First, his relationship with his dog was extremely important to him and made the world of difference when life got tough; and second, that owning a dog was not always easy. They needed a common language so that boy and dog could clearly understand each other.
Through his teen years, he set about learning everything he could about dogs. He attended local dog training classes and, for nine years, devoted himself to his work at the local kennels where he cared for dogs of all shapes and sizes. He discovered different breeds and learned about temperaments of dogs, and over time he developed the communication skills needed for working effectively with dogs, especially those with behavioural issues. Even as a student at university, he would travel back during weekends to work with the dogs at the kennels or help those in his local area with training their dogs and managing behavioural issues.
He has spent over 15 years practising as a qualified behaviourist and is now the founder and owner of Dog-ease, one of the UK’s largest dog training centres. He works with dog owners helping them to fully understand their doggy best friends and helping them with dog training and, when necessary, overcoming behavioural issues.
His aim is to help as many people as possible to enjoy their dogs and, consequently, as many dogs to enjoy their humans!
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