How to Help Your Pet Overcome Their Fear of Visiting the Vet

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It is not unusual to find your pet dog, or cat, panicking and afraid to visit the vet. One way you can make it easier on yourself and the staff at the veterinary hospital is to relax. Even though there are many other things a pet owner can do, a change of attitude is by far one of the first steps that will have a dramatic effect on the overall situation.

This may seem surprising; however, our pets are unbelievably attuned to our feelings and moods. If a pet owner acts as if a visit to the vet is the worst thing ever, it is little surprise to find Fido or FeeFee trembling in their paws. A happy-go-lucky, cheerful outlook is contagious. Not only do animals feel this sunny disposition, but the vet will too!

Of all the things that can quickly spread in a human and animal relationship, is a positive attitude.

However, this is just the beginning. There are other ways to quell your pet’s anxiety about going to the vet. First, we will try to understand why your pet may be afraid to go to the vet.

Most Common Reasons Why Your Pet May be Afraid to go to the Vet:

1. There is no positive interaction with the vet and your pet. In your pet’s mind, “they go to a place, are perhaps given shots, their mouths are opened against their will,” and so on. The vet should always interrelate with your pet in a manner that keeps them both at ease.

scared dog

2. Your pet intimidates the vet. This is not unusual. The pet senses this and literally “becomes the boss.” This is especially true with dogs. There are some vets who are absolutely terrified of some breeds of dogs.

3. Your pet, for whatever reason, is not contented with this particular vet. Trust your pet’s instincts. Pets are good at picking up subtle vibrations that humans miss altogether. If your pet is not fond of someone, pay attention, there is something they are trying to tell you.

4. Something very traumatic previously took place during a vet visit. Shelter animals frequently have negative vet experiences.

How to Help Your Pet Cope Better at Their Next Vet Visit:

Car Rides

For many pets, particularly cats, car rides are something that ends disastrously, at least in their eyes. If the only time your pet rides in the car is when they go to the vet to have a thermometer poked somewhere they’d rather the vet didn’t, the result is a disdain for travel.

Solution: Take your pet for rides sometimes. Dogs love to ride in cars watching the world go by or take them on a nice walk. Cats can enjoy a ride while you pamper them with treats. This will make your pet less anxious about future journeys.

Carrier Magic

For many pets, a carrier is an archenemy. Why? Because going to the vet is usually the only time they are in one. It’s not unusual to see Fluffy run for the hills when the carrier comes out.

Solution: Leave the carrier out likes it part of your home décor. Maybe it won’t match your art deco furniture, nonetheless put it in a place that your pet sees every day, like the laundry room. When pets are familiar with their carriers they become more relaxed when it’s time to get on board.

Pleasant Scents

Synthetic pheromones imitate animal scents and create a calming effect on your pet.

Solution: Synthetic pheromones can be purchased for both dogs and cats. In many instances, they help calm an apprehensive pet.

Keep Them Hungry

Take treats, but be sure your pet has an appetite for them. Your pet will be fine if they skip a meal before visiting the vet.

Solution: Bring your pet’s favorite treat on their next veterinary visit. Be sure it’s the really scrumptious, luscious, treats they love.

Bring Them All

If you have a number of pets, bring them all whenever you visit the vet.

Solution: Bring treats for the whole gang and give them plenty of praise. They will view going to the vet as one big pet party!

The Last Straw

Some pets just can’t handle the vet visit and require a bit more help than a loving owner can give.

Solution: Ask your vet to prescribe gentle anti-anxiety medication to help calm your pet’s anxiety.

Clearly, you may require the assistance of your vet to work out the details before putting some of the above-mentioned tactics into gear; however, there should be no difficulty in doing so. Click here for more info, including posts such as avoiding vet fear, dealing with hyper dogs, and more.


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