Shih Tzu and Vet-phobia

Trips to the veterinarian are one of the things your Shih Tzu must be accustomed to. Maintaining your pet’s health is one of the primary responsibilities of a pet owner; and the best person to help you with that is the veterinarian. Some clinics conduct some home service consultation and vaccination; but most of the time, it is the dog that has to be brought to the clinic where the facilities, tests and equipment are all placed. But what if your dog is Vet-phobic and it is very difficult for you to bring him out of the house and onto the vet? As if somebody has told him in the canine world that going to the vet is going to be one traumatic experience?

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Traumatic is the word. Your dog has consistently experienced some discomfort and not good memories with the clinic and the vet that’s why he or she is acting all crazy. You may not talk doggy and relay the message of visiting the vet; but your pattern of actions and words say so and where dogs pick up clues. The technique here is behavioral conditioning. Role playing is the best method to ease your pet’s vet anxiety attack. In your home, imitate the clinic. Make your dog adjust to a stranger who will pet him, check his teeth, hold his paws and check his ear temperature. You can start first with yourself then invite a friend over to help you. You can even dress up in a white lab gown to make the conditioning more effective. Moreover, practice your pooch in balancing on a weighing scale without all the wobbly and jerky movements. Make him calmly walk on a scale and get off it smoothly and swiftly. If your vet has a high table where he or she examines patients, have also one in your home. Get your Shih Tzu get used to the height by gradually leaving him or her alone and behaved on the table. Train your dog as if you are training for tricks and have a lot of treats and kibbles on hand. You can also ask you vet’s help and inform him that your dog has some fear issues and for sure, he will be glad to assist you and help your Shih Tzu feel more at ease while at the clinic.