Removing the Fear and Anxiety From Your Dog’s Vet Visits

By Valdette Muller| June 4, 2018 | Blog

The first thing we should do as dog owners is to try and understand our dog’s perspective when we take them to see a vet.

The ability to reduce pet stress is not only good for your dog before or during a vet visit, but will make the process of a medical appointment easier and more productive for all involved.

So what is it about going to an animal hospital or doctor that makes your usually calm, darling dog so uncomfortable?

A dog with a fear or anxiety for the vet can be caused by a number of reasons.

Some of these reasons can be due to the amount of noise, too many people and other animals, the smell might be strange and overpowering, the vet practice may be very unfamiliar to your dog and therefore can be quite a terrifying experience.

Using pheromone therapy

When a dog walks into an unfamiliar environment it does not just see new things. All five of a dog’s senses can become bombarded with information which can trigger anxiety at that time and place.

It would be a good idea to try relaxing your dog before going to the vet by using synthetic pheromones that mimic those produced naturally by happy pets.

There are various brands and formulations available, including Adaptil sprays, plug-in diffuses, and collars.

Did you say V-E-T?

Dogs are very good at determining cause and effect, figuring out that one event leads to another. Over time, they can build that chain of events far back to an experience.

Without realising it, you are sending signals right before going to the vet in the things that you do and the way that you do them.

Studies prove that pets listen to our emotions and pick up on words and sounds. They can interpret not just what we say, but how we say it.

If your dog senses that you are nervous, then your dog will become nervous, too.

Taking a drive

For a lot of dogs taking a ride in the car is the highlight of their day.

However, when the pet realizes that they are on their way to the veterinarian’s office and not the dog park, things may become more difficult.

Give your pet something with a familiar smell that will help remind them that they are still safe.

If your dog has a favorite blanket or toy, bring it along for the ride to the veterinarian’s office.

If you use a crate carrier to transport your dog in the car, make sure that your dog is both familiar with the carrier and comfortable being in it. Just like with cats, it can take a dog time and training to acclimate to their crate.

No matter the size of your dog, safely restrain them within the car for the trip to and from the vet’s office. This is not just a safety issue, but it can also help your dog feel more secure and decrease their anxiety.

Stay positive always

Encourage and reward your dog when they exhibit positive behavior. One way to do this is with treats.

Think about taking away food a few hours prior to your pet’s appointment. This will likely help improve the effectiveness of any treat-based reward.

The most important thing to do in order to keep your dog calm during a vet visit, is to remain calm yourself.

In addition to this, you can encourage your pet by using positive words and a gentle tone of voice, and petting always helps.




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