If your German Shepherd is not a fan of vet check-ups, I must say I am not surprised. Let’s be honest and admit that most of us are not fans of doctors either. Luckily, there are some ways how to keep German Shepherd calm at vet.
None of us likes to see a brave and confident dog like the German Shepherd looking frightened and anxious during the vet check-up.
This can go so far that some of these dogs shake and whine, or even act aggressively towards the veterinarian.
The vet is one of the most important people in your dog’s life. No matter how healthy your dog is, he will still need to go to the vet’s many times in his life.
If your dog is fully grown, but his fear of veterinarians doesn’t seem to go away – actually, it is getting even worse – you need to do something as soon as possible.
So, let’s see what are some of the best ways to help your German Shepherd feel comfortable in a vet clinic.
How To Keep German Shepherd Calm At Vet?
Excessive barking, shaking, drooling, aggression showing… These are all signs of German Shepherd’s anxiety.
Why is my German Shepherd so anxious at the vet’s? Maybe your dog is in pain already, and is afraid of someone touching him.
Maybe your dog is perfectly healthy, and you have just brought him to the vet’s for a regular vaccination. However, many dogs, even the most perfectly trained ones, will not like a stranger to touch them.
The one thing that causes anxiety and fear in most German Shepherds in the veterinary clinic is the fear of the unknown.
So, your dog will need your help to overcome this fear. Let’s see what you can do to help your shepherd dog breed.
1. Get Your GSD Know The Vet
The German Shepherd is usually a friendly and social dog – these characteristics make this dog one of the most popular family dog breeds.
But, even the most gentle dogs can dislike veterinarians. Of course, you would love to find a way to change this, and to make the check-ups more pleasant for both your GSD and your vet.
One useful thing to do here is to let your dog know the veterinarian and the clinic before his check-up.
If you have a nice veterinarian in whom you have full confidence, you can ask him to stop by with your dog once or twice to his office, just casually.
You can do this during your regular walk. Just enter the clinic with your German Shepherd, and let him sniff around. You can also ask your vet to introduce himself to your dog, and even to pet him.
This way, your dog will meet his vet and his clinic even before his check-up. By doing this, you will increase the chance that your dog reacts positively the next time he encounters his vet.
Unknown places and strangers can cause anxiety in dogs, so, it would be great if your German Shepherd can get to know his vet before his first check-up.
2. Tire Your Dog Out Before The Vet Visit
German Shepherds are highly active dogs who need a lot of exercise and physical and mental stimulation.
These dogs are not happy when they lack exercise. They even might show destructive behavior and aggression.
Things can get even worse if you have a hyper German Shepherd. If you visit a vet clinic with a dog like this, who has not spent any of his enormous energy that day, there is a big chance that this dog will not only be nervous at the vet’s, but might also act hostile towards him.
A way to prevent this is to provide your German Shepherd with enough exercise on the day of his vet visit.
Moreover, you can even increase your dog’s activity on that day, just to be sure your dog will be tired and satisfied.
With this, you have a better chance for your dog to act calm at the veterinarian clinic.
3. Don’t Forget The Dog Treats
I bet that dog treats are one of your German Shepherd’s favorite things. I think your love for them will become bigger right now, too, because, let me tell you one important thing – you can use the dog treats to get your German Shepherd to obey you!
How to do this? Take your dog’s favorite treats with you to the vet’s clinic. Keep them close at hand the entire time the examination is in progress, so that your dog can clearly see them. If the dog is obedient and calm during the examination, reward him with a treat.
In this way, your German Shepherd will associate obedient behavior during the examination with receiving a favorite reward.
Therefore, the positive reinforcement method can be very useful when calming your German Shepherd during a veterinary examination.
4. You Should Act Relaxed
All dog owners will agree that our furry companions can indeed feel our emotions.
So, if you are stressed and worried about your dog’s vet check-up, your German Shepherd might sense these negative feelings.
If you act like this, you can transfer these emotions to your dog. Therefore, it is very important that you act relaxed and calm when taking your dog to the vet’s.
If your German Shepherd feels your confidence, there is a bigger chance he will feel less scared and will act calm at the vet’s.
This is an option all of us would like to avoid. However, in some cases, you will need to ask your vet for some sedatives to calm your anxious German Shepherd.
If you notice that anxiety symptoms in your German Shepherd are too severe when it comes to vet check-ups, you should try to alleviate things for your pet.
You can give your dog sedatives to keep him calm during the veterinary examination. You should not buy any tranquilizers for your dog without consulting a vet beforehand.
Also, you should not use sedatives every time you notice your dog is nervous or stressed. If something else is causing your dog to behave like this, rather than just a vet visit, you should do your best to discover the exact cause of anxiety in your German Shepherd.
If vet visits are too stressful for your German Shepherd, I understand you are worried, and desperate to help your frightened dog.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make these check-ups less stressful for your GSD. You should definitely try to familiarize your dog with the vet and his office before his first check-up.
You should also bring some treats to reward your dog for obedience. Furthermore, you should keep calm yourself, because this will make your German Shepherd more comfortable.
If nothing seems to be helping your terrified dog, you can ask your vet to prescribe some sedatives that will calm your dog during the vet examination.
In the end, don’t panic if your German Shepherd is scared of vet check-ups. Many dogs act the same way, even the brave and independent dogs like these big guard dogs.
I hope this article helped you find the perfect way how to keep German Shepherd calm at vet!
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[…] Keep in mind that your pup might not feel so happy about checkups, so make sure to bring its favorite treats with you in order to keep your GSD calm at the vet’s office. […]