Face

Soothingly caressing your dog's face is probably not something you need to be instructed to do, but there will be times— especially during your dog's yearly checkup or if she's agitated—when you or your veterinarian may need to handle her mouth, ears, or eyes. To prepare her, gently touch and probe her face in ways that her veterinarian handles her during an examination. Make this a part of your daily interactions so that your dog conditions to this handling as normal and loving.

BELLY

Sometimes your dog's belly will need a little more than a scratch to determine if it's upset. Your veterinarian will probe your dog's belly as a matter of examination, so to prepare your dog for this unusual sensation, touch her underbelly gently with your index finger and thumb from time to time.

If your dog is particularly sensitive, treat her generously while you touch her tummy.

TAIL AND TUSH

Some breeds, commonly the Oriental breeds like Chow Chows and Lhasa Apsos, do not like being touched below the waist. Whether or not you experience this resistance, make tail and rear end pats a part of your daily handling. Gently scratching above your dog's tail and circling your fingers around her tail as you praise and treat her will ensure that she's comfortable being handled all over.

Many dogs are uncomfortable being medicated. To help your dog accept this reality of life, pretend to place drops in her ears, eyes, mouth, and so on without actually doing so. Give her treats as you're playacting. When the time comes, she'll be more comfortable with the procedure.

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