5 Tips for the Waiting Room

When you take your dog to the veterinarian, or any place that involves waiting, it helps to have a plan. Since dogs can’t play games on your iphone, here are five things you can do to make the waiting time easier for your dog.

  1. Take treats! That is so easy to do. Both you and your dog will have a happier visit.*
  2. Practice your attention game. Since you have treats with you anyway this is a perfect place to let your dog practice looking at you instead of the distractions. Every time your dog makes eye contact, say Yes and deliver a treat.
  3. You can also practice Touch. If there is enough room, and your dog isn’t really sick, do some Puppy Pushups.
  4. Bring your dog’s mat. If your dog is a little nervous, too worried to take treats or not feeling well, take a familiar blanket or rug from home. Your dog may feel safer sitting on something with his own scent.
  5. Give yourself space. Other pets may be contagious or feeling grumpy because they are not well. Even though your dog enters calmly, another barking dog might get your dog over-excited. Your own dog may be fine with cats, rabbits and birds in the waiting area. But those small animals may feel nervous about a strange dog’s stare. Even apparently friendly dogs can create a problem, jumping on you or your dog. If someone sits next to you and you are not comfortable with their pet, you can get up and move.

Trainers Tip:  If you take a kong or toy, keep it in your pocket until you are sure it won’t cause a problem with other dogs in the area.

According to an AAA study more then 1.5 million accidents during 2000 in the U.S. were caused by distracted driving! (Source: NBC Dateline telecast 6-19-01).

#1 Radio or CD player

#2 Children or other passengers in the car 

#3 Pets and loose objects

#4 Adjusting climate controls

#5 Eating and drinking

#6 Cell phone usage

Car Safety for Canines

In spite of Subaru and the old Toyota “dogs love trucks” campaign, the fact is that dogs are safer when they are restrained in cars.

Here are a few reasons.

1. In an accident, a dog can be thrown with hundreds or even thousands of pounds of force into other occupants of the vehicle, easily causing life threatening injuries. A good restraint system can help minimize this danger.

2. A dog that has been in an accident is likely to be shocked, confused, injured, and protective. It does not understand what has happened and may attack people or rescue workers indiscriminately and without additional  provocation. Your dog may think that people who come to help you actually caused  the accident and are now coming to attack again!  Police officers have told us that they have shot dogs when in this situation.

3. Even well behaved dogs can have their moments of “distraction”. Far from home or on vacation is the worst place to lose your dog. Dogs can also get injured or killed jumping from even a slow moving vehicle.

4. It is easier to restrain your dog then to worry and guard against escape every time a window or door is opened! This also means you may be able to leave some windows open for ventilation.

5. Some veterinarians recommend restraint systems to help stabilize a dog when braking, cornering, and accelerating. This gives them a feeling of security and may help them overcome nervousness and the fear of driving.