Most dogs have little to fear in a loving home. But some have serious issues with a few select things, despite their happy and secure circumstances; they involve going to the vet, going to the groomer and traveling. All of these mean leaving home and familiar surroundings.
If your dog doesn’t get out much, and the few times he does he goes to the vet for shots or bloodwork (things we humans often dread), he may begin to fear leaving the house and even going for rides in a car. Dogs need a variety of experiences or they become like shut ins, afraid of new experiences and blinking at the sunlight.
If your dog goes on fun trips to the dog park, exciting visits to the local pet store and adventurous hikes in the forest, he may associate leaving the house with positive experiences more than negative. Breaking up the routine is a good lesson as it teaches your dog to be adaptable and not fear what is new or uncommon in his or her life.
We’ve tried a new tactic with going to the vet – packing a few hamburgers in my backpack… We bring a few fast food hamburgers with us and give them to the vet to dole out during the visit. It raises the level of excitement in a positive way. Our dogs never get hamburgers any other time, so the vet is associated with something very special indeed.
It’s so important for dogs to be comfortable with their vet. The more comfortable they are, the better the care they can accept. If a dog is fearful, it is not easy to examine him and get the routine care which is vital for detecting health issues early on. Our boy Lobo is still somewhat fearful but he is getting more relaxed every time we go to the vet.
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