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Your Smart


with Amanda Abresch

Reader Submitted Questions

I avoid taking my dog to the vet because she flips out and I think they are going to have to muzzle her. Can I do anything? Maybe I’ve been watching too much Bob The Builder with my kids, but yes you can! While I understand your reluctance to put your dog through the stress of a visit to the veterinarian, regular checkups are vital. Just like avoiding appointments with your own physician never prevents health problems; it only delays the discovery of them. The problem with veterinary visits is that it can be incredibly stressful for your dog to go there. After all, there are other pets they don’t know, people poke them with things and make them hold still for no apparent reason. For dogs who are sociable (enjoy human attention and seek it out), the treats and praise they get during this visit are enough to outweigh the weird stuff the technicians and veterinarian do. If you have a dog with any anxiety or handling phobias, it gets challenging. 46

Delmarva Unleashed

Summer 2019

The technicians and your veterinarian do need to listen to your dog’s heart, lungs, look at their ears, eyes, teeth, give vaccines, and from time to time take blood. They really can’t get a good idea of your dog’s health without a good physical exam, so just avoiding it will not help your dog’s health in the long run. At home, you can practice handling techniques that your dog will experience at the veterinarian so they are familiar with it. Practicing lowstress handling techniques will make this all easier for your dog and the staff at your vet’s office. Think back to your dog’s last vet visit- were they patient when your dog was shy or fearful? Did a few or a bunch or technicians pin your dog down for part of the exam or procedure? Did your dog growl, bark, whine or pull away? If so, they probably weren’t using low-stress techniques. To be clear, this does not make them bad people, it just means they haven’t tried it a different way yet. They still love your dog like you do, trust me. The next thing you can do is talk to

Profile for Grand Living Magazine

Delmarva Unleashed Summer 2019  

Delmarva's Dog Magazine

Delmarva Unleashed Summer 2019  

Delmarva's Dog Magazine