V-E-T… B-A-T-H…

Many puppy mill dogs come out the mill not knowing the kind side of humans. Some may have also had very little interaction with people as well. Most do not understand we are trying to help them.

Oddly enough, some of the mill dogs that are fearful and shut down become more playful and open after a bath.

So what happens when they are in a stressful situation such as going to the vet or groomer? They may be to scared to do much or they may have a melt down. Here are some tips to make sure your first visit goes smooth.

Marjaneh from Mastiffs to Mutts believes bonding is the key to a more successful first visit.

They need to learn to trust humans first. As time goes on they usually become more comfortable. Lilac (BMD) was absolutely terrified but needed a vet ASAP and I’d only had her a few days. I carried her into the vet and even though she ran from me at home- at the vet I was her only comfort so she huddled in-between my legs. It just takes time but the bonding will help them feel more safe

Lisa from the Puppy Mill Rescue Team suggests letting your new dog decompress first if it is an option.

Unless a fearful dog is sick, or has an immediate health concern that needs to be addressed I give them time to decompress, and I use vets that have proven they are good with fearful dogs. Same with grooming- ask around to find someone with a good reputation with working with our special ones.

Joyce from Purebred Rescue Organization of Ohio suggests finding a groomer who is patient with mill dogs.

I have a wonderful groomer that works out of her home and she’s extremely gentle and patient with our mill dogs. If they aren’t painfully matted, I try to give them a week to decompress and settle some. Then I just nonchalantly pick them up and take them to the groomer.

All of our fosters homes agree that love, patience and trust is a key to your puppy mill dog’s first visit to either a vet or groomer to go well.

Before a vet or grooming visit, let them know about your puppy mill dog. Helpful information includes how long they have been out, fears or triggers and how they are adjusting to life outside of the mill.

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