ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Help Dogs that are Fearful of the Vet

Updated on September 1, 2009

Imagine for a second to be a dog: you are taken out of your home, on a car ride, in an unfamiliar territory and suddenly you find your self introduced to several smells. Very likely you will smell blood, submissive urination, the smell of anal gland secretions (which are often released in fearful dogs), medications, alcohol, and perhaps even sickness and death.

Indeed, a dog's nose knows a lot. There are many scary smells in vet offices that are often not perceived at all by humans. Add then the fact that the dog is handled, given medicines, painful injections and so forth.

As you can see the vet's office may be a far cry from being a pleasant place to be. Many dogs will display their resentment in several ways. Dogs may bark nervously, whine, shake, growl, snap and even bite. Most of these behaviors derive from fear.

Tips on How to Help Your Dog get Used to the Vet

-Play Doctor

It is vital therefore, to start puppies at an early age to get used to seeing the vet. This is accomplished by taking the pup there even if there is no scheduled exam. Simply take your puppy there, have him walk around the office and talk to him in an upbeat tone of voice. Have the staff give lots of attention, treats and praise if possible.

Also work on having him used to having his feet, ears, mouth, abdomen and tail touched.Try to imitate injections by using a syringe with no needle and praise after ward. In simple words, try to play doctor with your puppy so your puppy starts advantaged when his first vet visit is due.


The more your dog is used to seeing new people and going to new places, the more your dog will be able to relax at the vet's office. Ideally, the socialization process should start from puppyhood and continue routinely throughout the dog's life.

-Choose a Great Vet

For older dogs things may be a bit more difficult, especially if deaqling with dogs with an unknown background or dogs that have never seen the vet before. Often the vet used may make a lot of difference. Some dogs like female vets more, some like to be talked to, others like spacious rooms where they do not feel cornered. Other dogs may dislike vets that may be too rushed and busy and therefore, the dog dislikes being handled that way. Finding a vet that loves dogs and likes to take their time to help the dog relax can be a real blessing.

-Watch Your Emotions

Are you a bit nervous as well when you take your dog to the vet? Very likely your dog will pick up on that energy. Dogs are very good in reading your feelings and emotions. Indeed, if your dog is a bit on edge at the vet, if he picks up your nervousness as well, very likely he will find more motivation to be fearful. This sets the dog up for failure.

You should try instead to change your emotions. Get out of the office for a few seconds, walk your dog around the block and promise yourself to get back in in a better state of mind. Talk to your dog in an upbeat manner, and let the good, calm, energy flow. You may see an instant change in your dog as well, Remember as well, to take your dog often to the vet's office just to stop by and say hello every now and then.


If your dog is particularly nervous at the vet, it is a good idea to have him muzzled just to play it safe. Some dogs may growl and bite out of fear especially if they feel like they are cornered. But before doing this at the vet, try to allow your dog to wear the muzzle at home just to prevent another traumatic experience to add on top of another.

As seen, there is a lot you can do to help your dog accept vet visits. However, all it takes often is one traumatic expereince, and your dog may be affected by this for life. So try to keep vet visits as pleasant as possible, it is surely worth it!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)