If you have a dog that is fun-loving and friendly, you might think that a trip to the vet will be a breeze. Unfortunately, these typical behaviors seem to end when your dog goes to the vet to get their yearly booster vaccines. Vaccine-related anxiety in dogs is common, but there are things you can do to ensure your next visit to the veterinarian is free of stress for both you and your dog.

Here are a few simple tips to help you relieve your dog's stress while receiving a vaccination.

Prepare Your Dog Before Your Appointment

For many dogs, the fear of vaccinations comes from being handled by the veterinarian and not understanding what is happening. There are ways you can mimic what will happen in the vet's office to help desensitize your dog from the process of receiving a vaccination.

One option is to help your dog create a positive association between having their skin lightly pinched, which is what the veterinarian will do when administering the vaccine. Provide your dog with a treat and lightly pinch the skin at the back of the dog's neck. Encourage your dog throughout the process and when your dog does not react negatively, provide them with another treat.

Visit Your Veterinarian Prior to the Appointment

Typically, you visit your veterinarian for a yearly checkup or if your pet is sick. Unfortunately, this can cause your pet to have a negative association with the veterinarian. Schedule a visit to your vet's office and allow your dog to have some positive encounters with the staff.

For example, bring along some treats and ask the staff to give your dog some treats and encouragement. This experience can help change your dog's mind about what it means to visit the vet.

During the Appointment

If the day has arrived for your dog's vaccinations, you may be a little nervous. Your dog can sense your anxiety, so your first step is to remain calm. When you enter the vet's office, give your dog positive encouragement and a treat. Ask your veterinarian if you can hold your dog while they are receiving the vaccine to provide support.

Wrapping your dog in a blanket or towel that smells like home or bringing along a favorite toy can also help ease your dog's anxiety. Once the vaccine is administered, give your dog plenty of treats and positivity for a job well done.

If your dog gets anxious while receiving vaccines, there are several things you can do to make the experience more positive and help alleviate your dog's stress. For more information, reach out to a local vet clinic or animal hospital, like Apple Valley Animal Hospital.