At All About My Dog, we’re all about helping you and your dog stay calm in stressful situations. One of these situations is a visit to the vet. The Lisa Rockland Method, with its focus on calmness, balance, mutual respect and fun, empowers you to communicate with your dog in a new way. Once you can answer your dog’s questions, the unwanted behavior will change. Here are ten tips for improving your communication skills and helping your dog stay calm.   

Try them! Let us know how you do! 

Exercise your dog before you go.

This is common sense. A tired dog is a calm dog.

Lead your dog out of your car.

The dog that barrels out of your car is likely to enter the vet’s office in a similar, excited/anxious state of mind. Let your dog relieve itself in an appropriate place outside. Let them sniff their new surroundings.

Lead your dog through the office door into the waiting area.

A dog owner who enters the office before her dog says to the dog – you don’t have to worry.   

Once you are inside, keep your dog at your side.

When your dog is close to you, it feels safe. To stop a dog from pulling, try stepping on your dog’s leash. Stepping on the leash will free your hands to fill out forms, pay your bill and talk to the vet and staff. 

No visiting.

Keep your dog with you when you take your seat. Again, a dog that’s with its owner is safe. A dog that’s off visiting is likely to become excited and anxious. 

While you are waiting for your appointment, seat your dog on the floor, at your side or under your legs.

At All About My Dog, we call it “making a den.” Your dog is safe in the den. A dog seated in front of you, whether on your lap or on the floor, is vulnerable to whatever or whomever approaches. Vulnerability creates anxiety.

Avoid over-stimulating your dog.

No treats unless your dog is calm. No baby talk. No high voices. No squeaking, squealing or cooing. The way you interact with your dog signals how you expect your dog to interact with others.

Take the pressure off your dog.

Lead your dog into the exam room. Either lift your dog onto the table or hold your dog’s head while the tech assists you.

Get in the front!

Position yourself at your dog’s front end. Not its back. Not on the other side of the room. Hold your dog’s hand – so to speak – massage its neck. Be there when your pup needs you.

Be calm.

Use a calm, normal voice when you talk to your dog and when you talk to the vet. A calm owner makes for a calm dog.