Sarah Wilson

Dog Expert

Puppy Shots: 3 Things to Do at the Animal Hospital


Puppy Shots Help

Button relaxes on the table. Note my finger hooked through her wide collar. This keeps her safe should she decide to take up sky-diving.

Button got puppy shots today and had a lot of fun during that visit. Here are three ways you can set your puppy up for a safe, positive veterinary experience.

1) Aim High

I carried Button in, rested her on the counter during check in, carried her to a freshly cleaned exam table and kept her there. When I can, I keep puppy feet (and puppy noses and puppy tongues) off veterinary clinic floors.

When I cannot – such as with the Mastiff puppy I recently helped – I get an appointment first thing in the morning as all good clinics are cleaned well over night.

2) Treat During Treatment

I arrive with a pocket-full of Wellness Petite Treats Soft Mini Bites*. Anytime I see anything remotely unpleasant headed her way – rectal thermometer, ear cleaning, vaccination – I give bits of treat to Button as I chat merrily and I keep that up for as long as the potentially unpleasant event lasts. When the treatment stops, the treats stop. This approach got us through the entire visit without a peep from her.

3) Learn to Linger

Stay in or near the veterinarian for at least 15 minutes after vaccination. A very few pups will have an extreme and dangerous reaction to vaccination which requires immediate care to survive. I have never had this happen but that doesn’t mean it won’t. So, I linger. One of those “better safe than sorry” habits that I hope you never need but, if you do, you will be glad you were near by.

How you handle your pup’s first few veterinary visits sets the stage for a lifetime of opinion about them. Taking your time, selling it as “fun”, staying relaxed yourself and having favorite treats on hand all go a long way to creating a good impression.

*Wellness Petite Treats Soft Mini Bites are new-to-me. These small soft-ish treats break up easily, though not especially neatly. Button loves them but she loves everything. Lastly, these treats are small but not, IMO, “mini”. If you want mini training treats, look at Wet Noses Mini Stars or use Natural Balance Small Breed Kibble.


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