Why Is My Dog Scared of the Vet?

Why Is My Dog Scared of the Vet?

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Taking your dog to the veterinary hospital is one of the most challenging tasks you will regularly face due to his/her antics. Even if you do your best to trick your dog and take him/her to the animal hospital, your canine will realize what is going on unless you are consulting an online vet. If you are wondering why your canine is scared of the vet, you have come to the right place. 

Why Are Dogs Scared of the Vet? 

A puppy’s first experience with the vet would have majorly been for vaccinations, pet medications, and health check-ups. Also, your canine will be flooded with strange sounds and scents that will make it uncomfortable. As a result of this, your canine will associate fear —a common behavioral problem among dogs— with vets. When your dog is experiencing fear, it wouldn’t want a stranger, such as a vet, to touch it with strange-looking objects. 

 Fear will kick in for your canine at different times, such as when you are entering the car or when you are right outside the vet clinic, or when the vet comes close. Due to fear, your canine will behave and become extremely defensive, or it will become unmanageable. On top of that, if you get scared or nervous, the situation will become worse as your canine can sense it.  

Animals use fear to keep themselves safe during dangerous times. That is the fight or flight response. If you don’t actively address this problem, your canine’s behavior will worsen with every visit to the vet. It will hurt your canine’s mental and physical health. 

How to Make Your Dog Tolerate Visits to the Vet? 

Use the following tips to make your dog comfortable while visiting the vet. 

  • Ensure your canine is comfortable in getting handled or touched in places such as the mouth, ears, paws, and tail.

  • Ask the vet, technician, and secretary to give your canine its favorite treats and pet toys when you visit the clinic.

  • Play classical music in the car so that your canine becomes calm and composed while traveling.

  • Make social visits to the vet’s office regularly to make your canine comfortable with the vet.

  • Avoid forcing your canine to visit the vet. Instead, take your time and let your canine get comfortable at its own pace.

  • Practice the examination procedure followed by the vet at home. By doing this, your canine will feel okay when a vet is handling it.

  • If your canine isn’t comfortable visiting the vet, find out if the vet will make house visits.

  • If your canine is aggressive, put a muzzle for dogs on its mouth to prevent accidental bites. Get your canine to be comfortable with a dog muzzle like the Comfort Muzzle For Dogs before taking it to the vet. By following these simple tips, you will be able to take your canine to the vet without any hassles. If you have any doubts, please leave a comment below. 

6 Tips for a Stress-Free Vet Visit 

It’s a rare pet who enjoys a trip to the vet. Such an animal is probably rarer than a unicorn and every pet parent’s dream. However, there are ways to make trips to the vet slightly more pleasant for everyone, although it will take a little more work and foresight to pave the way for a smooth vet visit. 

Touch Your Pet as a Vet Would 

One of the reasons vet visits are so startling to pets is that the vet touches them in ways and places they aren’t accustomed to. Pet owners can help their pets feel comfortable with these unusual methods of touching by playing doctor and rehearsing a veterinary exam. Your vet will examine your pet from head to tail and may palpate —or gently press down using the hands— different areas of your pet’s body, like the neck and the belly. Lift your pet’s tail, and run your hands all over your pet, including the feet and nails. Reward them with cat treats or dog treats if they comply with the process in a calm manner. 

Don’t Get Nervous 

Be aware of your energy because your pet can feed off your anxiety. If you realize you feel nervous on the day of the vet visit, be sure to take some deep, cleansing breaths to lower your heart rate. Stick to your routine, including walks, which will help to burn off that nervous energy. 

Use a Calming Collar 

If your pet seems to panic at the idea of a trip to the vet, then consider purchasing a calming collar for your cat or your dog. The soothing scents of chamomile and lavender may help to comfort and relax your pet. 

Don’t Use a Carrier Only For Vet Visits 

If your pet only sees the inside of the pet carrier when it’s time for the vet, then that little box is going to represent a cage of panic and grief for your animal. If you use a carrier at home as a safe place for your pet to snuggle and nap, then it won’t seem like such a big, stressful deal to hop in the carrier for transportation to the vet. 

Practice Car Rides For Other Fun Reasons 

Likewise, if your pet only rides in the car on the way to the vet, it’s going to be a very long car ride for both of you. Try taking your pet on other excursions in the car, for example, to drive your dog to a meadow for a hike. 

Use Treats Strategically 

If your cat enjoys catnip, then plan on using it strategically because the effect only lasts about 5 to 15 minutes. Figure out the worst part of the vet visit for you. Is it coaxing your cat into the carrier or the part where you open the carrier for the vet? Use your Temptations cat treats or catnip with those circumstances in mind to keep the effectiveness high. Likewise, if you know you have a visit to the vet approaching, get a little stingy with your treats for your dog until it’s ‘go time’ for maximum effect. A dog with a belly that’s already loaded with treats isn’t going to be too interested in your bribery. You can also try calming treats for dogs like Zuke's Hemp Naturals Calming Chicken Recipe Dog Treats. 

How do you keep your pet calm for a vet visit? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Sign up for PetPlus and save up to 75% on your pet’s medications plus discounts onboarding, supplies, and more. 

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