Skip to Content

“Help, My Dog Tries To Bite The Vet!” 7 Causes & Solutions

My Dog Tries To Bite The Vet

No matter how friendly Fido is… 

There are times when they just snap at the vet. 

But these bite attempts are alarming.

And I know you just want to fix this behavior right away.

So don’t worry, I’ll help you out.

Keep reading to learn:

  • 3 simple ways to stop this behavior.
  • 9 warning signs your canine friend might bite.
  • 7 real reasons why your dog tries to bite the vet.
  • And so much more…

Why does my dog try to bite the vet? 7 causes

#1: Due to anxiety 

Some dogs may feel nervous at the vet’s. 

And this might happen if it’s Fido’s first visit. Or they have bad memories at the clinic.

Either way, PetMD says many things could make your pooch anxious. Such as: 

  • Feeling trapped.
  • Lack of socialization.
  • Fear of abandonment.
  • Dealing with new experiences.
  • Facing sudden scary situations.

This means your furry pal may already feel uneasy before arriving at the clinic. 

Not to mention, some breeds are more prone to anxiety. Namely: 

  • Greyhounds.
  • Border Collies.
  • Great Pyrenees.
  • Siberian Huskies.
  • Standard Poodles.
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs.
  • Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
  • German Shorthaired Pointers.

Whether your pooch belongs to this list or not…

They could still feel scared at the clinic due to the reasons I mentioned earlier. And with Fido’s fear, they might bite the vet. 

But the thing is, some dogs only react this way to protect themselves.

Basically, it’s their fight-or-flight response.

Though, how could you tell if this is the case for your pup? 

Experts say you can look for… 

7 clear signs of anxiety in dogs:

That said, professionals like the vet should notice these hints. 

But of course, they can’t always predict how every dog would react. 

Therefore, you should keep an eye on Fido’s anxiety level.

Reading tip: 23 Critical Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs + How To Treat It

#2: A traumatic experience 

As you read in reason #1, bad memories can make Fido feel uneasy. 

And that’s why they might try to bite the vet. 

But what exactly could traumatize your pup that much?

Well, here are some common scenarios: 

Now, these are situations dogs won’t forget at all.

And they might associate their trauma with the vet. 

So, anytime you bring Fido to the clinic…

Your furry friend might look at the doctor while thinking: 

“This person is responsible for my trauma. I have to save myself ASAP.”   

And then the canine tries to bite the vet.

You might also be interested in: 9 Real Reasons Why Dogs Hate The Vet + 3 Vital Tips

#3: Stress

Dog Hides Because Of Stress

Do you ever feel like snapping sometimes? 

Especially when things are getting too much? 

Well, your furry pal might relate to that. 

Just like humans, the patience of some dogs has its limits.

So, if Fido’s too stressed out… 

They might suddenly try biting the vet. 

But what could push your fur baby that far? 

Specialists say the following can cause stress in canines:

  • Fear.
  • Boredom.
  • Loneliness.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Sudden routine changes.

Clearly, dogs don’t just snap for no reason. 

So, how could you tell if Fido’s already stressed out? 

According to vets, look for clear signs of stress. Such as:

Continue reading: 17 Clear Signs Of Dog Stress (Stressed Dog Body Language)

#4: Sensory overload 

Speaking of stress… 

Your dog might also feel overwhelmed. 

And it’s just like how sensory overload works for some people. 

Basically, it’s when 1 or more of the body’s 5 senses is too stimulated. When that happens, the brain can’t keep up with the info it receives. 

As a result, doctors say Fido might face the following: 

  • Fear.
  • Panic.
  • Stress.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Restlessness.
  • Urge to escape or shut down.

Now, it’s a fact that dogs already have strong senses. 

And that’s why their nose and ears tend to be sensitive. 

That said, some animal clinics can be packed or noisy. This could be too much for your furry friend. 

Thus, the moment the vet checks your dog… 

Fido might end up biting them due to sensory overload.

Recommended read: 15 Crystal-Clear Signs Of An Overstimulated Puppy

#5: Dogs can sense your mood

Scientists reveal that dogs can smell the way you feel. And it’s thanks to Fido’s powerful canine nose.

This is how your furry pal can tell when you’re nervous. 

Or even if you’re sad and angry. 

That said, Fido may catch your emotions. Especially when your fur baby cares a lot about you. 

So, if you’re nervous at the vet’s clinic…

Your pooch could end up absorbing that. And the thing is, dogs can’t control this ability. 

That’s why it’s up to you to keep yourself composed.

Otherwise, Fido might face the vet while thinking: 

“Why is my hooman so worried? Is something bad about to happen to me?” 

See? Those feelings could trigger them enough to bite the vet.

You might also like: Can Dogs Smell Human Pheromones? 7 Surprising Facts

#6: Lack of socialization

Dogs should be socialized as early as possible. 

If not, research says they end up more prone to biting. And it’s not just the vet, other animals could get bitten too. 

That said, try picturing yourself in Fido’s situation. 

Let’s say you visited a new place. 

Now, you need to ask the locals for directions. 

But here’s the kicker: 

You rarely talk to other people. 

So now that you’re here, you don’t know what to do. As a result, you might end up panicking. 

And that’s what unsocialized dogs go through. 

Without proper training, Fido becomes afraid of strangers. Like the vet, for example.

Check out: 10 Reasons Why Dog Training Is Important

#7: Fido hates shots and pills

Sometimes, the vet has to force dogs to do things they dislike.

Such as drinking medicines. Or receiving vaccine shots. 

Either way, your pooch won’t always tolerate that. 

Meaning, some dogs might react to injections by trying to bite the vet. 

After all, isn’t it stingy when you receive shots?

Even as an adult, I still flinch at the thought of it. 

So, what more could your innocent pup expect?

Anyways, this is why some vets slow down before giving shots. 

That aside, Fido might also hate taking medicine. 

Especially if the vet has to use forceful methods. 

Like pushing the dog’s mouth open, then putting the pill down their throat.

Now, your furry friend doesn’t know those capsules are for their health. 

Instead, pups would only feel threatened by the vet’s actions. 

Thus, your dog might bite them for protection.

My dog tries to bite the vet: 3 solutions

#1: Know the warning signs

You can stop your dog from biting someone else. 

But to do this, you must also learn Fido’s body language

That’s how you can read the warning signs that a dog might bite. 

So, here are 9 things you should beware of: 

  • Yawning.
  • Freezing.
  • Growling.
  • Lip licking.
  • Raised fur.
  • Tail-wagging.
  • Showing teeth.
  • Folding their ears.
  • Avoiding eye contact.

You can also learn more about dog bite prevention by watching this helpful clip: 

#2: Relieve Fido’s stress or anxiety

Even if Fido doesn’t try to bite anymore… 

It’s still vital to relieve them from stress and anxiety. 

So, what can you do to make your pooch feel better? 

Follow these simple tips from VCA Hospitals

  • Make your dog exercise for a bit.
  • Let Fido have a peaceful alone time.
  • Ask the vet for stress-relief medication.
  • Find a safe space where your dog can relax.
  • Play fetch or other brain games with your pooch.
  • Give your dog an easy task and reward them with treats.

Warning: If Fido’s stress or anxiety isn’t going away, then you should talk to the vet about it. There could be an underlying medical problem causing this.

Find out more: 19 Proven Ways To Calm Your Anxious Dog (How-To Guide) 

#3: Socialize your dog 

There are many ways to train Fido’s social skills.

That said, here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Visit the dog park regularly.
  • Enroll your dog in socialization classes.
  • Ask help for help from professional trainers.
  • Set up play dates with doggos of other fur parents.
  • Let Fido approach other dogs or people (with supervision.)

Eventually, doing these activities should build up your fur baby’s confidence.

Especially around strangers. 

And that would lessen the risk of bites in the future.

BONUS: Keep calm 

Remember when I said that Fido can sense your feelings? 

That’s why you have to stay calm too. 

Because if you’re anxious, your dog will pick up on that. 

But if you stay calm, you can focus on soothing your pooch. 

As a tip, you should speak to Fido in a gentle tone of voice while the vet handles them.