Week 7: Stress-Free Vet Visits

Hey there, and welcome to Week 7 of our Bark Better Live Better Challenge

This week, we're diving into something super important: keeping our furry pals happy and healthy, which means tackling vet visits.

We'll cover routine health checks and vaccinations, plus some tips to make those vet trips as stress-free as possible for your pooch. And of course, we'll chat about handling emergencies, just to be prepared.

Let's get started!

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Routine Health Checks At The Vet

Just like us, our furry friends need regular check-ups to stay healthy and catch any issues early. Vets are there not just to offer advice but also to step in medically when needed.

Ideally, your dog should see the vet at least once a year, more often as they age or if they have special medical needs. These visits are crucial for staying ahead of any potential problems, so don't hesitate to book an appointment, even if your dog seems fine.

Has it been more than a year since your dog's last check-up? Don't wait any longer—schedule one today!

Brown Border Collie dog during visit in vet.

Vaccinations At The Vet

Vaccines are really important for our furry buddies when they go to the vet. They act like a shield against all kinds of nasty bugs that could make our dogs sick. These shots basically give their immune system a heads-up on what to watch out for, so if they ever come across those diseases, they're ready to fight them off.

Before getting vaccinated, all pets need to have a thorough health check to make sure they're in good shape. And it's not just about getting shots when they're young; it's important to keep up with vaccinations throughout their life. Usually, they need booster shots every year to keep their immunity strong.

When you take your dog to the vet, the vet will check out their vaccination records and suggest which shots they need. It's all based on things such as age, lifestyle and any health risks they might face.

The primary vaccines administered are usually Distemper, Parvovirus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis (also called Adenovirus) and Leptospira.

Your vet will let you know if your dog should get vaccines for Parainfluenza Virus, Kennel Cough, and Rabies. These shots are recommended based on your dog's risk of infection. For example, if your dog spends time in kennels or meets many other dogs in the park, they may need the Kennel Cough vaccine.

Keeping up with these vaccinations is key to keeping your dog healthy and happy. Your vet will give you a plan for when your dog needs their shots and any booster shots they might need down the line.

Making Vet Visits Less Stressful For Anxious Pooches

If your dog feels nervous about going to the vet, then know there are several strategies you can try to help ease their anxiety and make the experience less daunting.

These tips are also helpful both adult dogs as well as for puppies who are unfamiliar with the vet. Setting them up for positive experiences now will benefit them greatly in the future.

Introduce Them To The Vet Practice

Before you schedule your check-up, go and take some time to visit the vet. Let your dog sniff around, check out the waiting room and say hi to the friendly staff. Some veterinary practices offer appointments for dogs to visit the consultation rooms, where they can get treats and cuddles from the staff. This experience can be incredibly beneficial and positive for your pup, especially if they've had previous experiences that have impacted their confidence.

Get Them Used To Handling

Help your dog get used to being handled by having little sessions at home where you gently touch their ears, paws, mouth and so on. This mimics what they will experience at the vet, making vet visits less stressful. Plus it makes grooming a breeze too!

Dog getting used to being handledPractice Handling At Home

Timing Is Everything

Arrive on time for your appointment, but try not to be too early to avoid unnecessary waiting in the waiting area. Long waits can increase stress levels so aim to keep it as smooth and efficient as possible.

If your dog struggles with waiting, give the reception desk a call to explain the situation. Ask if you can wait in your car with your furry friend and if they can give you a call when it's your turn. This way, you can walk straight into the consultation room, making it much smoother for your pup.

Keep it Calm

Take their favourite blanket or toy and use it to keep their mind of the visit. Likewise, you could consider using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or sprays in the waiting room to help relax your pup.

Build Positive Associations

Make the vet's office a happy place by showering your dog with treats and praise during and after the visit. This helps them associate the vet with good things and reduces their anxiety over time.

Take it Easy

If your dog is super anxious, take things slow and don't rush the process. Gradually increase the length and frequency of your vet visits as your pup gets more comfortable. Remember, patience is key!

Handling Emergencies

Lastly, it's crucial to be prepared for emergencies.

Keep a pet first aid kit nearby stocked with essentials like self-adhesive bandages, dressings, surgical tape, antiseptic wipes, tick remover tool and more. You can assemble your own kit or purchase a pre-made one for convenience. This one on Amazon has great reviews.

Save your vet’s number in your phone so it's readily available.

Familiarise yourself with the signs of common emergencies, such as heatstroke or choking, and have a plan in place for how to respond to these situations.

And always remember, if you're ever uncertain about your dog's health or well-being, don't hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for advice.


Regular veterinary care is essential for your furry friends well-being. Remember to implement the tips and strategies discussed to make the vet visit a positive experience for both you and your dog.

Your proactive approach can make all the difference in keeping your dog happy and healthy for years to come.

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