Some puppies and dogs develop a fear of the veterinary clinic. It is common for dogs to develop this fear, because it is somewhere that they do not visit often. If you think about it, when you were a child, you probably did not enjoy visiting the doctor, because you were much smaller and had no idea what was going on. It is the same concept for dogs. Going to a strange place, one or two times per year, where you are placed in a small room does not sound appealing to most. Even more so because the vet expects the dog to stand still while they are examined. The real question is how can you prevent your dogs from being afraid of the vet.
One thing that will help your dog from being afraid of the vet clinic is always bringing treats with you to give to them while they are there. It is even a good idea to bring their favorite treat or their favorite blanket, just to make them feel like there is something familiar to them there. Another thing that can help ease the fear of the vet is taking occasional trips to the vet clinic, to get more familiar with the clinic itself. When at home it is a good idea to do mock examinations, where you check their teeth, and get them to hold still while you look in their ear, etc. This will get them used to the movements that the vet will do with them. These simple steps will help ease the fear that your dogs experience when visiting the vet.
Although there are some ways to help prevent this fear, there are also ways that it can be made worse. The one thing that is very important not to do is be to be stressed out yourself when you take your dog to the vet. Dogs can sense emotions in people, especially their owners, and they will detect the way that you are feeling.The ASPCA-Fear of the Veterinary Clinic and PetMD- Extreme Fear and Anxiety in Dogs are excellent articles that provide some good guidance on what causes this type of fear, and some tips on how to ease the fear of the vet.
Does anyone have a dog that is afraid of the vet? Please leave a comment.