By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to take your dog for a visit to the veterinarian’s office. And sometimes, for many, it can actually be downright difficult. Many times your dog may exhibit anxiety, excitement or stress. Most likely, your dog will pick up the feelings and energies of the other dogs as well, and so the cycle continues.

There are things you can do to help alleviate the stress and recondition the behavior to rid the negative association and replace it with positive ones.

First, arrange to make short, frequent trips there with your dog; just step in to say “hi”, praise, treat and leave before the dog has a chance to become anxious. If he does, just calmly leave and try again another time. Always make sure that your dog has been walked and exercised before this endeavor as well.

Next, massage your dog before and after these visits to equate a relaxed positive feeling. Carrying a slight scent of lavender can be very useful as it provides a calming effect. Once in the office have your dog go into a “sit” or “down” position and focus on you.

Most importantly, remain truly calm and relaxed as your energy is the most powerful one for your dog to pick up on.

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