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Is your veterinarian fear free certified for your pet?

How was your last visit to the veterinarian? Did your pet have a good experience or do you dread every trip? Well, there are universities today that now require students to become Fear Free certified before graduation. The certification is an eight module course online and you must pass an exam after each module. The certification lasts for 3 years and the premise is to help veterinarians remain more aware of your dog’s emotional health. It begins by looking at your pet’s body language and knowing their triggers of anxiety and how to avoid them.

So how do you make sure you have a successful visit to the vet? It is important to have a veterinarian that is very aware of your pet. If they seem anxious during a visit it may mean you cut the visit short and you go home with medication and return another day after they take the medication and become a calmer gentler patient. It needs to be a positive experience or it creates a vicious cycle and the anxiety level can increase over time. So what are some tips to help you be successful?

  1. Start with getting your pet comfortable with car rides. Some pets the anxiety of just knowin they are likely going to the vet to get a blood draw or shot is enough to put them in the wrong frame of mind. Take them to a pet park or short walks after a short drive.

  2. Consider using a dog carrier or crate in the vehicle. Often they feel safer in a crate enviornment. Make sure to buckle the carrier down so it doesn’t slide in the car. They also have safety harnesses today that you can use and lock the pet in place so they aren’t loose in the car. It is a good idea for you too incase your pet gets too nervous and decides he wants to sit on your lap while you are driving. For a great dane, that might not be the best thing for you.

  3. Stop in the the vet’s office from time to time just to say hello. They often have cookies for your pet and it just mixes up the experiences for your pet. So they aren’t always shots or getting poked at.

  4. Talk to your vet. If your dog is having sever emotional distress over their visits they may need a prescription to take the edge off or knock them out before their visit.

  5. My favorite suggestion and what I like to do before going to the vet is keep my pup in the car until the very last minute. From time to time other dogs get my dogs excited and it puts them in the wrong frame of mind. Ask your receptionist to either come outside to get you or call your phone when they are ready for them to bring in your pet.

Whatever steps you take to ensure your pet is comfortable during a vet visit can always be helpful. Take the extra time to be aware of what each of your pets need. When in doubt ask your vet for some advice. However, these tips should be helpful for you to get your anxious pet moving in the right direction.

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