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How to Handle Your Puppy's First Vet Visit

Learn how to handle your puppy's first vet visit from dog trainer Robert Haussmann of Dogboy, Inc. in this dog training video from Howcast.


So soon after you bring your puppy home, you're going to want to bring him to the vet and get a good work-up. Most vets will be very sensitive to a puppy's first encounter with a vet's office. At the age that you're going to get your puppy, most puppies will come to you before 12 weeks, and most dogs will approach everything in life with vigor and excitement at that point, and you want to make sure that it stays that way. That means he goes up on the table, and he's having a pleasant experience, cookies, reward, maybe his favorite toy, a squeaky toy or his favorite game.

You can even bring a meal. Let him have a meal if your dog's really food-motivated or really toy-motivated. Make sure that the vet's office equals something positive for him. Also, on regular outings, bring him to the vet's office just for fun when it's not for an actual vet visit. He's just going into the vet's office to let people ooh and ahh over how cute your dog is. So he's making a new association with the vet's office. It's not always about needles and thermometers and so on and so forth.

A lot of things that happen at the vet's office are going to be unpleasant, and he should have some idea of what to expect by the time he gets there. So you can handle him an awful lot the way the vet's going to handle him, holding his legs, checking his body the way a vet is going to do it, shining lights in his eyes, things like that just so he's used to that kind of handling. And then make sure that he's having a pleasant experience, especially the first vet visit. Like I said, most vets will be sensitive to this in the first place, but it could be something that you can advocate for as well. And that's how you take your puppy for his first vet's visit.

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