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How To Help Dogs That Hate Going To The Vets

Going for regular vet check ups is something that dogs have to deal with. They need to go for regular check ups and might end up having to go due to ongoing health issues. However, some dogs really don’t like the vets. They realise that when they go to the vets they are examined and prodded and poked, and begin to view it as a bad place to be.

Some dogs have bad experiences at the vet, and others experience a lot of pain whilst going through procedures and treatments. So it’s only natural for them to view it as a negative place. However, there are ways you can make vet visits more bearable for your dog and things you can do to improve their behaviour. Here are a few tips for owners with dogs that are terrified of the vets.

Choose your vet wisely

Make sure you pick a good vet that has been recommended to you or that has great reviews. You may have to try a few different vets to see which one you think is best for you and your dog. A professional vet will help to make your dog feel comfortable and at ease in the examination room.

Use positive reinforcement

Take treats or your dog’s favourite toy when you go to the vet. Reinforce good behaviour and get the staff to give your dog treats. This will hopefully show your dog that the vets is a great place to go because they get food. You can also use toys to distract your dog while they are being examined(if it doesn’t get in the way of the examination).

Keep the same vet where possible

Once you find a vet you trust and your dog likes, try where possible not to change to another vet. Your dog will get used to going to the same place and build relationships with the staff.

Build up their confidence slowly

If your dog is extremely scared of going to the vets, don’t just throw them in at the deep end (unless an emergency occurs and you have no choice). If you can, build up their confidence by gradually taking them to the vet. Try walking them past the vets, then take them inside for a few moments, give them a treat and then go home again. This will gradually build up their confidence.

Take your dog to the vet from an early age

Take your dog to the vets from a young age so that they can get used to it. They will then be used to being examined and interacting with the veterinary staff and will be less likely to develop issues as they get older.

Visit the vet for no reason

Where possible, go to the vets with your dog even when you don’t have an appointment. This will make them realise that when they go into the vets it is not always to be examined, but to say hello to the staff.

Get your dog used to being handled

Try and get your dog used to being handled as the vet would do. Get them used to being handled and touched all over their body, then it won’t come as such a shock when they get examined at the vets.

Keep calm

When you visit the vet, do your very best to try and stay calm. Even if you know your dog is going to react and it will be a stressful visit, try not to show that you are worried as your dog will pick up on your nerves.


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