How to prepare your animal for the chiropractor
Why is this information important?
Animals are unable to talk and advocate for themselves. When it comes to their healthcare, sometimes a hands on approach isn't always welcomed (because sometimes things HURT!)
As an animal's owner, there are a lot of behavioral methods you can utilize before your pet's visit in order to facilitate a happy and fearless encounter with a hands on professional, such as an animal chiropractor. This help your pet enjoy their visit as well as help to keep your hands on professional SAFE.
My top tips to help get your animal ready
Work on any stranger danger
👉🏻 Many pets are fearful of new places and new things. Taking the time to take your animal to new environments with new people can really help your pet understand that not everyone (or everything) is out to get them. Use treats, toys, or praise when your animal is curious and shows interest in trying new things or meeting new people.
Touch your pet EVERYWHERE
👉🏻 During a chiropractic visit, your pet will be poked and prodded. Some of these areas may be painful!
For dogs: I recommend wrapping your arm under your dog's waist and scratching along the dog's backside. Many dogs will hump one another to express dominance, so it's important to desensitize this posture as most animal chiropractors will hug your animal in some way during their visit. I also recommend getting a pet used to having their face touched as well as all four feet lifted. Practice lifting a foot then giving a reward; practice teaching your pet to put their face in your hand ("touch") and giving a reward.
For horses: I recommend having a friend hold your horse while you stand on a mounting block. Press side to side and up to down on your horses back gently. Practice from either side. Give your horse a hug around their poll and/or gently pull their halter around as you lure them with a treat to flex their head to their hip. Lift all four feet and move them around. Reward as your horse stands still and relaxes.
Use treats to incentivize good behavior; use calming aids as needed
👉🏻 For really anxious pets, look into cooperative or free free training methods. Learn your pet's triggers and identify how they are telling you when they are unsure or nervous. Relay this information to your provider. Reward your pet when they work through their fear and use training aids (treats, toys, praise) to promote desirable behavior and a positive experience.
For reactive animals that don't train well, work with your animal care team to facilitate calming aids to be used just before your visit.
When in doubt, work on tolerance for restraint methods
👉🏻 Some animals don't do well with restraint, so this should be a last resort. Get your dog used to a muzzle or your horse used to a lip chain. As your provider, we would much rather use gradual behavioral training and calming aids, but we do realize that sometimes things HURT! Using restraint methods can help to keep your provider safe.
We operate in full compliance with all laws and regulations. Our services are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any specific illness or condition and should only be used as a complement to routine veterinary and/or medical care. Chiropractic may provide support and encourage the body into its most optimal state of health. The content provided herein is informational only and is not to be construed as medical advice.
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