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Handling techniques are very important in regards to a puppy. Often dogs can get ear infections, injured paws and will need their teeth checked at some stage. We aim to minimize stress to the dog by exposing him/her to having these areas handled frequently by you and hopefully he/she will be more willing to tolerate a veterinary examination.

Firstly, lift the puppy onto a table, doing this allows the puppy to get used to it and is helpful when they are brought in to the clinic and placed up on the examination table. Gently play with the puppy’s lips and gums then try to open his mouth as if you were going to give the puppy a tablet. The easiest way to do this is to have one hand over the top of his nose using the gap behind his canines to grip your fingers and with the other hand holding the tablet gently open the bottom jaw and pop the tablet as far back in to the mouth as possible. If the puppy is at all stressed, stop and run your hands over his body until he settles down.

Next, play with his ears and massage the exterior of them. If he gets an ear infection and needs drops put down his ear he will need to be quite used to having his ears handled. It’s also important that your puppy is used to having his eyes looked at it. Keeping his head still gently lift each eyelid.

Most dogs tend to be quite sensitive around their paws, so handle the paws often. This is best done when they are nice and relaxed. Playing with your puppy’s paws will help for when it comes time for you to clip their nails or needing an examination in the clinic.

Remember to give lots of praise and treats for being a good puppy.

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