Tips on taking your dog to veterinarian and make his fears less
Written by: Anastasia Spevakina
All dogs have a fear before going to a veterinarian. They start to be nervous, seek for escape, hide or fall on the ground (or floor in a veterinary clinic). Some of them leave puddles and piles, or even try to bite the vet.
Usually dogs have two reasons for such worries – unusual, stressful situation in the veterinary clinic and existing bad experience because of some veterinary procedures.
Almost all dogs have a lot of stress, being taken to the vet, and we can easily understand it. No doubts, we all will feel not very comfortable, being in a hospital and passing medical examinations. The difference between us and dogs in such situation is that you will realize why you need to go to the doctor, and the dog won’t. It’s impossible to explain to a dog that he needs to finish with these medical procedures and everything is going to be alright. The dog will just know that you brought him to an unknown place and scared. What your dog will see is just other animals, fuss and nervousness of everybody around and strong pungent smells.
The first thing, which you should do, is to calm down and feel sense of confidence, so that your dog will feel your condition. Don’t rush to wear a muzzle, or it will give just more stress to your pet.
When dogs refuse even to enter the veterinary clinic, perhaps, the only solution is to call a vet and ask him to make medical procedures at home.
It’s important to choose the “right” clinic for dogs. It is desirable that a vet is not only professional, but also knows how to communicate with animals. Calm and confident dialogue with the dog can develop normal reaction to the vet in the future.
Previous bad experience
Dogs may be nervous and even behave aggressively in a veterinary clinic, if they had a previous bad experience. For example, if the dog was treated in a rude way, he will start to be afraid of vets hysterically.
The main question now is how to teach dogs to trust veterinarians again?
Start walking with the dog near the clinic. Don’t punish your pet for being afraid. What you have to do in such case is to praise your dog, play with his favorite toy and make him feel more comfortable. Once the dog responds calmly to the clinic staff, try to enter to the clinic again. The dog will sniff around and find something interesting for him. Leave the clinic and come again after a couple of days.
Dogs shouldn’t have unpleasant associations with a veterinary clinic. Your task is to convince the dog that visit the vet can be a pleasant walk. Of course, it doesn’t guarantee that when your dog has injection, he will be absolutely calm, but it will be much easier for your pet to get used to medical procedures.
Dogs must be used to feet, ears, eyes and teeth examination. It doesn’t matter if you have a huge and strong Rottweiler or a tiny Chihuahua, you must be sure that, if necessary, the veterinarian will be able to help your dog.