Dogs have their favorite places.
But most of the time?
The vet’s clinic is definitely not it.
And if your furry friend is vetphobic …
You’re about to discover why.
Continue reading to learn:
- When to worry about Fido’s behavior.
- 9 eye-opening reasons why dogs hate the vet.
- 3 vital tips to use if your furry pal dislikes vet visits.
- And so much more…
Table of contents
- Why do dogs hate the vet? 9 reasons
- What to do when your dog hates the vet? 3 tips
Why do dogs hate the vet? 9 reasons
#1: Dogs can smell illness
Don’t you love walking into your favorite restaurant…
And catching a whiff of your food cravings right off the bat?
Ah, what a pleasant aroma.
Well, dogs feel the opposite when they enter the vet’s clinic.
That’s because your pooch can pick up the scent of illnesses. And plenty of sick animals visit the vet’s.
Now, you must be wondering:
“How could my dog sniff such things?”
It almost sounds like a super-pawer.
But believe me, Fido’s nose is just far greater than ours.
In fact, vets say that dogs have over 100 million scent receptors. Meanwhile, research reveals that humans only have at least 400.
Thanks to that, your furry friend can sniff dangers like:
- Parkinson’s Disease.
With this, you’d get why your pup hates the vet.
After all, your pooch is just wondering:
“Why is my hooman taking me to such a dangerous place?”
You might also like: 13 Fun Facts About A Dog’s Sense Of Smell
#2: Canines can smell death
Aside from illnesses, Fido can also pick up the scent of carcasses.
While I know it sounds sad…
At the vet’s, some sick animals pass away.
And your furry pal quickly notices that. That’s why some pups refuse to enter the clinic.
This could also happen if the vet’s place offers services for diseased animals.
To Fido, it’s like they’re getting dragged into a horror house.
Now, dogs may not know the concept of death.
But they’re clearly aware of negative emotions. And the feeling of grief when someone special is gone.
Even when the animals at the clinic are strangers to Fido…
Your pooch can smell the emotions of people around them. That’s how strong a dog’s nose can be.
So if your furry pal feels uneasy around the vet, it’s mostly due to the gloomy vibe there.
#3: Unpleasant car ride
Sometimes, dogs don’t actually hate the vet.
Instead, they only dislike the trip on the way there.
Especially when your furry pal isn’t used to car rides yet.
This could also happen if Fido’s simply the anxious type. Or it’s possible that your dog has motion sickness.
Either way, it makes car rides a problem for you and them.
That’s because your furry pal may do the following during the trip:
Now, Fido will associate the vet with the unpleasant journey.
Basically, your dog’s thinking:
“Oh, so if we go to the clinic… It means I have to endure another car ride. Ugh…”
And that’s why your pooch treats the vet as the real villain behind it all.
Reading tip: 13 Fast & Proven Ways To Calm A Dog In The Car (How-To)
#4: Bad associations
Aside from car trips, there are other things Fido could dislike on the way to the vet.
For example, the road to the clinic isn’t fun to take.
Say, there could be dogs barking at your pooch. And that scares your furry pal during the walk.
Or sometimes, streets can be packed with people. This could trigger anxiety in some canines.
And your dog will associate these bad experiences with your last stop. Because they precede the visit to the animal clinic.
As a result, your dog ends up hating the vet’s.
#5: Your dog doesn’t like their crate
Do you crate your dog to bring them to the vet?
Unfortunately, not all canines like that method. Especially when they’re not trained for it.
So, just like car rides…
Your furry pal could hate the crate experience. And as a result, they’ll think the vet is responsible for it.
I mean, can you blame the pooch?
Just try to picture your dog’s situation.
First, they already feel uneasy inside their crates. Next, they’re taken to a place that smells like death or diseases.
And lastly, Fido doesn’t know how long they have to stay inside the cage.
Now, wouldn’t that make you feel anxious?
That aside, dogs are clever.
In fact, scientists reveal that canines can learn up to 150 words.
This shows how your pooch eventually recognizes the term “vet”.
So whenever you mention it, Fido’s mood changes right away.
As they know that you’ll crate them. And they don’t like it.
#6: A traumatic experience
Most dogs face many troubles at the vet’s clinic.
For one, they might hate:
- Getting their vaccines.
- Making frenemies at the clinic.
- Grooming activities, such as haircuts and nail trimming.
Now, that could be a bad experience for your doggo.
After all, it can make your pooch feel uneasy at the vet’s place.
Especially if your pup dislikes conflict.
“But what if my dog gets along with other animals fine?”
Well, plenty of possibilities could’ve traumatized your pooch.
Here’s an example:
The vet’s assistant suddenly picked up your fur baby. And your dog got caught off guard.
Due to that, they now fear strangers in the clinic.
That aside, you could be responsible for Fido’s behavior too.
“What do you mean?”
It can be stressful to take your dog to the vet sometimes.
So, you might raise your voice a bit when talking to Fido.
Or, let’s say you scolded the pooch on the way to the clinic.
It happens. And you don’t mean any harm from it. But your furry pal could’ve taken that moment to heart.
Since then, your dog is afraid of upsetting you at the clinic.
Because of that, Fido would act uneasy around the vet.
#7: They hate the medicine
Do you have a hard time giving pills to your dog?
Well, that could be the problem.
Usually, visits to the vet mean Fido has to take some drugs. Or even receive their annual shots.
Sometimes, the vet opens your doggo’s mouth to put the pill deep down their throat. Then, Fido has no choice but to swallow it.
And this can be traumatizing for your pooch.
Thanks to that, your dog will dislike anything to do with the clinic.
#8: It’s noisy at the vet’s
Every vet clinic is different.
While some of them are quiet, others could be chaotic.
Now, your furry friend can be sensitive to noise.
Especially when they’re in an unfamiliar place. Like the vet’s clinic.
But just how well could canines hear something?
A study says that dogs have a hearing range of 67 to 45,000 hertz. That’s twice greater than ours, which is only about 64 to 23,000 hertz.
So, with all the sounds coming from left and right…
Fido could feel overwhelmed. And the moment the vet comes, your dog’s already stressed out.
As a result, your pooch might react by:
- Biting you.
- Trying to escape.
- Snapping at the person holding them.
Now, these reactions make it seem like Fido totally hates the vet, but…
Have you heard of the term, “sensory overload”?
Doctors say it’s when 1 or more of the body’s 5 senses is overwhelmed.
That means you’re taking in more info than the brain could process.
And since canines are already sensitive to sound…
They could feel stressed out by the loud noise at the vet’s.
For one, their noses are already overstimulating. Now, even their ears can’t catch a break?
Not to mention, some breeds have a greater sense of hearing. Such as:
- Lhasa Apsos.
- Boston Terriers.
- Cocker Spaniels.
On top of that, research found that some dogs are more sensitive than others.
Specifically, those Fidos are:
- Scottish Terriers.
- German Shepherds.
- Labrador Retrievers.
- Lagotto Romagnolos.
- Australian Shepherds.
Though, no matter the breed, your pup would still hate going to the vet.
But only as long as the noise there bothers them.
Continue reading: 15 Crystal-Clear Signs Of An Overstimulated Puppy
It’s vital to socialize your pup.
Otherwise, going outside can be troublesome for them. And that includes being at the vet’s.
Well, just picture yourself in Fido’s shoes (or paws.)
First, you go to an unusual place that reeks of death and diseases. Then suddenly, strange people just start grabbing you.
Not only that, they’re checking you all over your body too.
Well, doesn’t that make you feel scared?
To some dogs without social experience, it’s horrifying.
And that’s exactly why these Fidos just don’t like the vet.
That said, you can learn some tips on socializing your puppy here:
#BONUS: They prefer staying by your side
Some dogs can be clingy…
And if your pooch is that type, they’d want you to stay by their side.
Moreso during vet visits.
Now, this could intensify if your furry friend has separation anxiety too.
This means your pooch can’t stand being away from you.
That said, some vets might ask you to sit outside the exam room.
Well, that could make your dog cry, or even panic. And it’s because they fear you’ll abandon them.
Now, you might spot this issue more often in:
- Senior dogs.
That aside, some breeds are more prone to being clingy too.
To name a few, those Fidos are:
- French Bulldogs.
- Golden Retrievers.
- Italian Greyhounds.
- Labrador Retrievers.
- Shetland Sheepdogs.
- Australian Shepherds.
- Doberman Pinschers.
Suggested read: 11 Reasons Why Your Dog Is So Clingy All Of A Sudden
What to do when your dog hates the vet? 3 tips
#1: Help the vet
The best course of action is teamwork.
This means you’ll have to talk to the clinic during the visit. Or, you could call the vet ahead of time to plan your steps.
Basically, just let them know about your pup’s issue.
From there, the vet themselves should already suggest some tips.
But in case they’re out of ideas too…
Let me share a personal story to help you out
During my dog’s first visit to the vet, they told me to wait outside.
However, I could hear my fur baby cry and panic.
At that moment, I knew I can’t just sit down and do nothing.
So, I knocked and asked the vet if there was anything I could do to help.
Thankfully, they let me assist in holding my dog down as they give her shots.
My puppy also relaxed in the process. And that made things easier for everyone else.
Later on, she was already taking doggie treats from the vet.
Just like that, they finally became friends.
See? That’s how teamwork can solve Fido’s worries.
#2: Bring your dog’s favorite item
Does your fur baby have a favorite item?
If yes, then it could play a big role in your dog’s vet visits.
Even if it’s a random piece of cloth. Or a stick that Fido found outdoors.
Just pick something from your dog’s favorite toys.
Now, you’re probably wondering:
“How could this stuff help my pooch?”
It can comfort Fido.
Besides, toys are easier to bring around.
Plus, they could help your pooch stay calm. And can lessen boredom in your pup too.
With this, you could change Fido’s entire experience whenever they go to the vet.
For example, you can even ask them to hold the toy for your pup. And they could try playing with your pooch too.
This way, your dog may find it easier to build a connection with their vet.
You might also wanna know: 7 Amazing Reasons Why Dogs Bring You Their Toys + 7 Tips
#3: Keep calm
Did you know that dogs can sense your feelings?
And not just that, science says Fido can absorb your emotions too.
That’s why you should keep calm. Especially on the day of your dog’s vet visit.
I know, it can be worrying when your pooch is unwell. Or it’s their first time getting shots.
But when you’re at ease, you can focus on comforting your pup.
For example, you could talk to Fido in a soothing tone of voice while they’re anxious.
Basically, you have to be composed so your dog will pick up on that.