Regular vet trips are essential for any pet owner, especially if they have a pug. The pug is, unfortunately, a breed with many health issues. Due to their compressed snouts and small size, a lot of pugs suffer from respiratory and spinal complications. Additionally, their protruding eyes may lead to ocular problems.
Despite health concerns pet parents have to face, pugs remain some of the most popular breeds in the US. In fact, they’ve kept a steady ranking in the top 50 since 2015, according to the American Kennel Club. No doubt, owners of this breed go to great lengths to ensure the survivability of their precious fur babies. Taking care of one is no joke. Hence, bringing a pug to the vet is crucial when it’s still young.
However, like visiting a doctor, it is a fact that some preparation is involved when taking your pug to their first vet visit. Animals naturally have a fear of being in new places. Some may even resist care and treatment if they’re not used to how vets work. As a pet parent, you’re partly responsible for the success of your pug’s first time in the clinic. For tips on a seamless visit to the vet, keep reading this article.
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Find The Right Veterinarian
Finding a trustworthy vet to attend to your dog’s medical needs is as important as finding a doctor for yourself. Your pug’s vet will see your pet through all the stages of their life and provide you with the necessary advice to keep them happy and healthy. Thus, they must not only be knowledgeable about the needs of the breed but also compassionate towards your pug.
For starters, look for options online, such as https://www.sunnysidevetclinic.com/. To narrow down your search, try entering ‘veterinary clinic near me’ in the search bar. Top results should be clinics in your area. You may also check forums or websites dedicated to pug care since these places often refer new pug owners to vets they already know and trust.
When in doubt, ask like-minded friends or pug owners in your neighborhood. Word-of-mouth choices from people you know are sometimes better than online reviews from people behind the screen. They may offer you excellent suggestions and recommend you to a reliable veterinary clinic.
Make An Appointment
Many veterinary clinics may allow walk-in patients. But since it’s your first time bringing your pug, scheduling an appointment will be a wiser decision. One of the risks of walking into a clinic without a planned consultation is that a vet might be unavailable when you’re there. Therefore, it’s safer to call the clinic and make an arrangement at least a day before.
Mornings are the best time to visit the vet because most pet owners often arrive later in the day or after work. Plus, the fewer people and pets in the clinic, the better it will be for your pug. Being around other animals in one area could increase your pet’s anxiety and make them think that a clinic is dangerous. By scheduling an appointment, you can avoid long queues and choose a time with the least number of visitors.
Aside from that, scheduling appointments is vital if your pug is going to have their first vaccination shots. Your pet is still vulnerable to diseases, so they must stay far away from other animals.
List All The Questions And Concerns
You’re bound to have a lot of questions if it’s your first time having a pug. That’s totally understandable, and it’s good to have them since it means you care for your pet. So, before you head to the clinic, create a list of questions you can ask the vet. A list will help you be prepared for your appointment with your vet.
Take your time to sit down and gather your thoughts. Many pet owners often forget to ask the most basic questions because they tend to think about other things. Grab a pen and paper or open your phone’s notes app, then start writing. Some of the common questions about your pug that you should ask the vet include the following:
- What should or shouldn’t I feed my pug?
- How often should I bathe my pug?
- What should I do if I have to leave my pug home alone momentarily?
In addition, you can jot down initial observations you may have noticed from your pug. As mentioned, pugs are susceptible to various health problems. Some medical conditions, like hip dysplasia, might manifest even if the pug is still a puppy. Hence, you must see to it that your concerns and observations are listed along with these other notes:
- Your pug’s usual eating, sleeping, and toilet habits
- Sudden changes in behavior or activity your pug does
- Other pets living in your home
- Places your pug has visited
- Names of your pug’s dog food and medications, if any
- Any issues your pug may have that are either getting better or worse
Having a list of vital information about your pug will make your first trip to the clinic smoother. Your vet will appreciate it. As much as they want to check your dog’s health, they have other pets they’ll have to attend to within the day.
Help Your Pug Adjust
Vet clinics are scary places for a pet who’s there for the first time, especially if they’re a puppy. But you can make the experience fun and worthwhile with careful preparation. That way, your furry member won’t be fearful of the vet the next time you have to go and visit.
Pack a small bag of your pug’s favorite things a day before your appointment. These could be their treats, toys, and a pillow or blanket they use often. Keeping these familiar items nearby during the checkup will make your pug think they’re still at home. A dog bed is handy since it can provide warmth for your dog as they wait on the exam room’s table. If your pet has been well-behaved during the appointment, reward them with a treat afterward.
An hour or 30 minutes before leaving the house, have a ‘pre-game’ or ‘warmup’ activity for your pug. You could play with them to tire them out or take them outside for a short walk. The latter is an excellent option since it allows your pug to have a potty break along the way. Avoid feeding your pet a whole meal before a checkup because they might poop or pee inside the clinic.
Secure Your Pug For The Journey
Whether driving to the clinic or taking public transport, your pug must stay comfortable during the ride. An uncomfortable pet will become anxious, which could lead to some problems once you arrive.
Some pet owners bring their furry friends to the vet on a leash. While this is acceptable, it would be better to let your pug acclimatize to staying inside a carrier crate. Not only is a carrier safer for a pet who’s sick or injured, but it also provides comfort and protection. So, weeks before your trip to the clinic, help your pet get used to being inside. The last thing you want is for your pug to associate the carrier crate with something to fear.
When your pug is inside and ready, put the crate on the car’s floor instead of the seat. The carrier will be stabler there and less likely to rock back and forth during the trip. While on the way to the vet, pay close attention to your pet from time to time. Watch out for any signs of distress too. At your destination, your pug must remain in their carrier unless otherwise stated by the vet or clinic clerk.
Fill Out Necessary Documents
Once at the clinic, you’ll need to fill out some documents at the front desk. The paperwork can be tedious, but it’s necessary for the clinic staff who needs your pug’s records before you’re called for your turn. Be sure to indicate the correct details, such as your pet’s name, sex, age, and birthday. The clerk or a vet on standby is more than willing to lend you a hand if you need one, especially regarding a dog’s exact measurements and weight.
During the checkup, the vet might ask you for more vital information on your dog. Be honest with your answers. They need as much information as possible to ensure your pug lives healthily and happily up until their next visit.
Know The Routine
Preparing yourself for your pug’s first visit to the vet is equally important. It’s better to know what to expect during a checkup than to go into the clinic blindly.
A typical vet procedure for a dog may include the following:
- Physical exam
- Tick and flea treatment
- Stool sample
By knowing what needs to be done, you’ll also learn how much the session could cost. A pug is a notoriously demanding and expensive breed to own. So, you must know what to expect regarding the price of owning and caring for one.
Some veterinary clinics may already provide the cost for a regular checkup on their official website. But if your pug’s clinic doesn’t, it’s usually around USD$150 or more. Ensure you receive a breakdown of prices for each procedure done to your dog after the checkup.
While giving your pug a checkup, the vet will tell you some things you may be hearing for the first time. Don’t drown them out and nod absentmindedly. Get your phone or a notepad and jot the advice down. One mistake a pet owner could make is forgetting what the vet told them. Another would be mistaking a piece of clinical guidance for something else.
Your pug needs your cooperation as much as they need the vet’s expertise. Thus, you must take down notes. The vet should be able to provide an official receipt and instructions for you to follow, especially if there’s medication involved. But for other miscellaneous information, it’s essential that you keep note of them for the welfare of your pug.
When people say that animals can sense your fear, you might want to believe it. In fact, research has proven that dogs can feel their owner’s changes in mood based on olfactory and behavioral signals. Therefore, if you’re nervous at the vet clinic and are trying desperately to hide it, your pug may already know what’s up. As a result, your pet might mirror your reactions.
To remain level-headed and calm:
- Treat the visit to the clinic like any ordinary walk outside or a brief outing.
- Feel free to greet the clinic staff upon arrival and avoid constantly reassuring your pet.
- Find a comfortable spot to sit and wait with your pug and pick up a magazine if any are available. You can also read the pamphlets most clinics provide their clients, so you can add more to your knowledge of pet care.
If there’s nothing fun for you to do while waiting, play a game on your phone or observe the other pets in the clinic. Watching and interacting with animals decreases cortisol, a stress hormone, and increases oxytocin, a hormone that lowers blood pressure. You and your pug should be relaxed and ready when the vet calls you into the exam room.
Let Your Pug Interact With Others
Encountering new people and animals can be overwhelming for any puppy. Hence, before entering any clinic, try getting your pug used to being around others. Most dogs become stressed and weary on their first visit to the vet because they’re unaccustomed to seeing so many people and pets. Furthermore, pug aggression may occur in the clinic if your furry member becomes too anxious.
You can start by introducing your pug to others, like your loved ones. Taking your dog to different places and situations may help curb their fear of visiting new locations. In addition to that, your pug’s aggressive tendencies could lessen. If your pug hasn’t had their vaccines yet, don’t bring them near other animals. They could contract an illness, which might make worsen their condition.
A trip to the vet clinic should be a worthwhile learning experience. You’re there because you love your pug and want them to live the best and healthiest life possible. By following these tips, you and your pet will have excellent first and subsequent visits.