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A Lesson With Laura – Making visits to the vet a positive experience for your dog

By Ash Tree Vets | 26th June 2019

Is your dog a little worried about coming to the practice? Do you have difficulty getting them through the door? Perhaps they have been unwell recently and required treatment, but now you are worried that it will put them off coming to see us in the future?

In this month’s edition of “A Lesson with Laura” we look at how we can help your pet to be relaxed when they come to see our team.

Did you know that Ash Tree Vets offers free social visit appointments with our nurses?  These are designed to help dogs that might be a little bit worried about coming in to the practice.

The idea behind social visits is that your dog gets to come into the practice without anything ‘bad’ happening; but gets a positive experience instead.

Social visits are pressure free. Your dog can come in, have a sniff, and leave again if that’s all they are comfortable with. The nurse will be armed with tasty treats, so those dogs that love food and are happy to take treats from us are guaranteed a great time! If your dog prefers toys over food then you are welcome to bring along your dog’s favourite toy so that we can play with your dog during the appointment.

We really do want your dog to love coming to the vets! Not only does it make our jobs much easier if your dog loves coming to see us but it also makes the whole experience much less stressful for your dog, which is the most important thing!

There are a number of reasons why I recommend regular social visits including:

  • New puppies – bringing your new puppy in regularly for social visits can help ensure that they have a long term love of coming to the vets. During these visits we can also get your puppy used to being up on the examination table and get them used to items such as the stethoscope and microchip scanner.
  • Junior dogs – It’s a great idea to bring your junior dog in for frequent social visits so that they don’t lose the positive association that they had as a small puppy. It is also a proactive way to prepare them for coming in for their neutering procedures and needing to spend the day with us. Between puppy-hood and adult-hood dogs go through a number of developmental stages which often result in changes in temperament; bringing your dog in regularly for social visits during this time can help to stop them becoming fearful of the vets.
  • Dog’s who have recently been injured or unwell –  and has under gone some treatment with us they may be a little bit reluctant to come back in to see us; despite the fact that we aim to keep every patients stress level to a minimum this is sometimes unavoidable. We suggest that once your dog is feeling better you bring them in for a few social visits to help them enjoy coming to see us again; even just popping into reception for a treat can do your dog wonders!

If you would like to know more about how social visits could help your dog please get in touch with me. Please be aware that these social visits are not suitable for all dogs, especially those that have a severe vet phobia. If you are unsure if social visits are a suitable option for your dog please call me on 01638 554477 or drop me an email to nurses@ashtreevets.com

I look forward to meeting some of your dogs!