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Dog Afraid Of Vet - What Should I Do To Calm My Dog?

Updated on October 14, 2013

Dog afraid of vet? That shouldn’t be a problem - there are a couple of ways you can comfort your dog. But what do you do when they don’t want to get into their carrier cage or even let you put a leash on them? They can sense when they are going to the vet. After all, that is the only place you take them to go out. Believe it or not, but dogs will remember their last trip to the vet. Getting checked out by a stranger, injected, or being unable to move on a cold examination table is not something they enjoy. Some dogs also do not tolerate strangers and will try to nip them. This is why the vet has a muzzle you can put on your dog before they handle them. Obviously, they are afraid of the muzzle and the vet as well. So, what can you do to help them through this ordeal?

Dog afraid of vet - What do I do?

How to calm your dog

Here are a few tips you should use to calm your dog before the vet or during the checkup:

  • Bring treats with you. If you cannot get them into their cage, simply put a treat in the cage. This works everytime and you can close the cage once they do this.

  • While your dog or puppy is at the vet, pet them softly while speaking in a calm voice. You don’t want them to feel anxious or scared. The owner has a way of making them feel more relaxed.

  • Is there something your dog really loves? Maybe he enjoys being petted behind the ears or being scratched on the belly. Now is a good time to use this.

  • Calming your dog can be difficult if they are aggressive. You certainly don’t want them to harm the veterinary assistant. This is why you should bring a muzzle and put it over their nose before going in.

The Vet Poll

What does your dog do when they are scared of the vet?

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Canine depression before the vet visit

Perhaps your dog knows they are going to the vet a day before you go. Suddenly, that pooch of yours who is full of energy will begin to withdraw from certain activities. They see their cage in the living room, waiting for them. This is a warning sign in their eyes. Dogs can be very intelligent and they know what’s going on. Here are a few symptoms of canine depression before the vet:

  • Stops eating them food or eats very little.

  • Doesn’t seem interested in playing with you like they used to.

  • Will sleep most of the time, usually throughout the day.

  • Hides away their toys so you cannot find them. They are in no mood for play.

  • Will become “moody” either growling or snapping at you.

Canine depression doesn’t just occur before a vet visit. If another dog is close to yours and they grew up together, your pup can become depressed if their friend has passed away. Just like us, dogs become very lonely.

Dog afraid of other dogs at the vet

Is your dog afraid of other dogs? Dog afraid of vet? These two mix well together. The reason why is because there are many other dogs at the vet they will run into. You may have to make a scheduled appointment so that way you don’t have to be in the waiting room with the rest of the dogs. You’ll be able to go straight to your appointment into the checkup room instead. Otherwise, here are some ideas to make your dog not afraid of other dogs:

  • Bring a friend over who has a dog that is the same size of them. Let them introduce each other but make sure to keep them on leashes. This is called breaking the ice.

  • Twice a week, bring your puppy or dog over to a dog park. Talk to other owners about your issue and see if you can find another dog for them to play with.

  • In the worst case, you will need to find a dog trainer who can monitor your dog when they play with others that they are training. This is the only way to do it if you can’t do this on your own.

How often should i take my dog to the vet ?

Wondering how often to take your dog to the vet? This is a good question, especially if you have a dog that is afraid of the vet. Here is a guideline to go by:

  • Puppies should be checked out every thirty days. You can schedule re-occuring appointments if you like.

  • Dogs must get a checkup once or twice a year, depending on their health. If they have health issues, you may have to schedule appointments more often.

  • Anytime you notice your dog doesn’t eat, stops playing, or has developed any type of “bumps” on their skin, you need to take them to the vet that same week. Do it as soon as possible.

  • With emergencies, dogs should be taken to the vet right away. Your pug might have had their eye torn from rough play with another dog. The sooner you get there, the more likely you can recover their eye.

Scared Dog Attacks the Vet

Dog afraid of vet? Here is something to think about

If you are uncomfortable with taking your dog to the vet, always put them in cage. Don’t neglect putting a muzzle on them because you will be responsible in case your dog bites the vet. Even the most friendliest dog will bite if they are scared. When a dog is afraid of the vet, they will often retaliate because they feel as if they will be harmed. This is just how their true “canine instinct” is even though they are considered domestic dogs.

Look at the video to your right before coming in with your scared dog. Putting on a muzzle before you enter into the vet's office will be appreciative and will also save some time. Always use a "basket" muzzle as these are the strongest.


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