Prepare Your Puppy for Vet Visits

The Importance of Body Handing of Puppies.

Teaching your puppy to be comfortable with body handling will not only benefit you when you need to put on their harness or brush them, it will also help them be more tolerant of handling at the vet clinic. If you teach your dog to enjoy being handled and groomed by pairing those activities with high value treats, it makes the experience less stressful for everybody involved and your pup might even begin to look forward to it!

Trimming Dog's Nails, Treasure Coast Puppy Trainer, Step by Step Guide, Dog Training

How to Start Practicing for the First Vet Visit

1) Practice at a time when your puppy is tired and calm. Maybe after a walk around the neighborhood or a playtime session.

2) Be sure to have your pup’s favorite treats on hand

3) Gently hold your puppy’s paw/ear/lip, mark with the word “yes,” deliver a treat, and release them.

4) Repeat this process 3-5 times and end the session. If you practice too much too fast, it can create an adverse effect and cause your puppy to become overwhelmed.

Training Puppies for Vet Visits

Once your puppy is comfortable having you handle them, you can begin increasing the time intervals you are holding their paws/ears for. For example, instead of just picking up their paw for a second, marking with “yes,” rewarding and letting go, try Holding their paw for 3 seconds. Once they are comfortable with that, try holding their paw for 5 seconds. Be sure to slowly adjust to longer time intervals. You can also try having other household members or friends practice with your puppy so they get used to multiple different people handling them.

Treat Alternatives


If you are finding it difficult to deliver treats one by one, you can also utilize food toys and smearable foods! Lickimats and Kongs with peanut butter or canned food are a great option for being able to leave the food down while you focus on the body handling

Prepare your Puppy For Vet Visits

Additional Body Handling Skills

Practice using a stethoscope (a pretend one is fine)

Practice getting onto platforms that mimic a scale

Practice gently “tenting” the skin as if they were receiving a shot

Practice lightly palpating their body

How to tell if your puppy is stressed or scared

Puppy Trainer Sebastian, Vero Beach. 

If you need help or advice on any aspect of puppy training, get in touch. We’re leading puppy trainers in the Treasure Coast area of Florida and can help you and your puppy with all kinds of training. We offer day school or Board and Train to suit you. Contact us for your Free consult to find out exactly what training you need and how we can help. You can book a time best for you here.