What to Do if Your Dog is Afraid of the Vet

What to Do if Your Dog is Afraid of the Vet

Last update: 19 January, 2019

With very few exceptions, nobody likes going to the doctor’s. As children, many of us were afraid of hat white-coated individual who examined us and made us say ahh. That’s why it’s not surprising that many dogs are afraid of the vet and of going into that strange room.

Afraid of the vet: a normal phobia in dogs

A small dog with a vet.

This fear that some furry animals feel towards the veterinarian is one of the most common canine phobias. And, if we think about it, it’s quite logical.

In the vet’s clinic, they don’t exactly have a great time. We take them when they’re sick, injured and, above all, so that they can get vaccinated. Anyway, don’t despair, there are options to try to make your dog lose his fear of the vet.

Dogs are often afraid of the veterinarian, especially because they remember the pricks they receive when they are vaccinated. We’ll tell you some tricks to try to make your dog lose that fear.

Anticipating a vet visit

Humans usually believe that animals have a sixth sense. But let’s not forget that dogs are also very observant.

The point is that, for whatever reason, your dog usually knows when he’s about to go to the vets. And it’s highly likely that you’re giving it all away with your attitude.

The trick is to try not to let your pet notice what is happening, and, in that way, make the trip to the vets not such a traumatic one.

Stopping your dog’s fear of the veterinarian

If your dog is afraid of the vet, then even in the waiting room he may bark, growl, even relieve himself or try to hide, not to mention when he’s actually being seen to.

But how to avoid this fear that your pet feels every time he visits the vet? Try the following options:

  • Go with your dog to the clinic just to greet the vet. This way your pet will become familiar with the place and won’t associate it with something negative.
  • Reward your dog for his good behavior every time he attends an appointment. On the other hand, ignore the bad behaviour he may have. Positive reinforcement is always your ally, don’t forget it.
  • Help your dog get used to being touched. In this way, when the vet checks him over, then the situation won’t be so strange or uncomfortable.
  • As much as possible, stay with your dog while the vet is checking him over. This way they’ll feel more secure.

More tips to keep your dog calm

Other issues to keep in mind so that they can lose their fear of the vet are:

  • If it’s a routine visit to the vet, then the best thing to do is to take your dog on a long walk and enjoy a good play time. This way he’ll get to the surgery more tired to the surgery and will offer less resistance.
  • Avoid getting tense or fearful before the appointment. If you’re relaxed, you’ll transmit calm to your furry friend. Otherwise, you might make them more stressed out.
  • Hug them and give them a massage to calm them down before embarking going the vets.
  • Don’t put it in the car just to take it to the vet. Take them to fun places, too.

Patience and perseverance to reduce your dog’s fear of the vet

A happy dog with a vet.

Consider changing vets. Maybe if you start from scratch again and using the tips we’ve mentioned here, then things will go better. In addition to that, it’s important for the vet and your dog to form a bond. It’s a great way to make things easier in the surgery.

But, what to do if, after all these attempts, you can’t stop your furry friend being afraid of the vet? Maybe the only option available to you is to schedule a vet visit at home, at least until you can patiently and lovingly take away their fears little by little.