Everyone loves babies. How could you not? Fuzzy little bundles of wiggles and licks. It’s a perk to the job that can be hard to describe. But those little bundles will grow into adults sooner than is believable, and having a pet that likes to come to the vet will make everyone’s lives easier. I like to call this kind of socialization making your pet vet-friendly.
Handle, handle and handle again. This sounds simple, and really, it is. The vet will want to touch every part of your animal to examine it, so why not get him or her used to it? When I think about what my animal needs to be accustomed to, I picture a nose to tail exam. Open the mouth, touch the gums and teeth. Look in the ears, and maybe even put your finger in (especially if you have a breed that may be prone to ear infections!!). Squeeze the toes, and so on. And much like the shampoo instructions, Rinse and Repeat. How often should you do it? The good news is that you can’t do it too frequently. Young animals learn well with repetition, so doing it every other day or so will help immensely in the long run.
The scary scale. This generally is more of a dog concern than a cat one, but there is something about the scale that frightens many dogs. By bringing your puppy in frequently for a weight check and cookies, he or she will learn that the scale is nothing to be afraid of; it is just the treat landing-pad!
Holding still. We don’t need them to hold still very often, or for very long. When we do, it’s because it will allow us to do our jobs safely and quickly. Work on getting your puppy or kitten used to being held on its side. This position, known as lateral recumbence, is frequently used in vet practices for many procedures.
A time investment now while your animal is young will mean a lifetime of happy and stress-free trips to the vet. At Full Circle Vet, we are happy to help with the vet socialization process. Simply call and speak with a member of the care team to find out more.
By: Melissa, R.V.T