Many dog owners dread taking their aggressive dogs to the vet because they don’t know how to deal with their dog’s aggression properly.
As a result? Their dog becomes more anxious, and the vet visit even more difficult.
And even worse, the dog tends to be even more reactive that they will try to bite the vet.
Let’s be honest…
Taking an aggressive dog to the vet can be an extremely stressful experience both for you and your pup.
But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. In fact, there are simple tips you can use as a guide to make it a positive experience.
In this blog post, you will learn what the do’s and don’ts are when taking an aggressive dog to the vet.
Keep reading to find out!
What You Should NOT do:
Not paying attention to your dog
Look, this is a no-brainer. If you’re not paying attention to your dog, then how will you know when they are getting anxious or stressed out?
One tip is to try and make eye contact with your dog frequently during the vet visit. This will help to keep them calm and focused on you.
Allowing your dog to roam freely
This can be a recipe for disaster.
Your dog may become anxious and stressed out if you let them roam freely in an unfamiliar place like the vet’s office.
Instead, you should keep your dog or puppy on a leash and close to you at all times.
Letting your dog off lead
It is another no-no. You see, even if think your dog is well-behaved, you never know what might happen when they’re off the lead.
They could get scared and runoff, or worse, they could attack another dog or person. So, it’s still best to keep your dog on a leash when you’re at the vet’s office.
Avoid your vet greeting your dog over-enthusiastically, especially when they feel trapped
Your dog may not be too fond of being poked and prodded by the vet. So, it is best to avoid your vet greeting your dog too enthusiastically.
Instead, try and keep the greeting calm and low-key. It can help to keep your dog calm as well.
What YOU SHOULD DO:
Plenty of praise for good behaviour
One way to keep your dog calm and focused during the vet visit is to give them plenty of praise for good behaviour.
The reason is that positive reinforcement will help to keep your dog’s anxiety levels down.
So, if they know that they’re being praised for behaving well, they’re more likely to continue to do so.
High-value food rewards
Another way to keep your dog calm is to give them high-value food rewards.
It helps to keep their minds occupied and off of the vet visit.
This could be anything from their favourite treats or even a piece of cooked chicken.
One optional food is chicken nuggets. Well, it works like a charm almost all the time!
Food rewards can help build trust, although they may not be appropriate in every situation.
But at least it’s something to consider if you’re struggling with how to keep your dog calm during the vet visit.
Muzzle training your dog well before appointments
If you know that your dog will be anxious at the vet’s office, then it is best to muzzle train them well before the appointment.
This will help to keep them calm and relaxed during the visit.
Plus, it will also help to prevent them from biting the vet or anyone else.
Having rock-solid obedience
It means that your dog should be able to follow basic commands.
The question is, have you been investing time in training your dog?
If not, then now is the time to start.
In this case, you can focus on dog behaviour training
, such as obedience commands like sit, stay, down, come, and more!
You must understand how your dog is taking cues from you.
So, if you’re calm and collected, then chances are your dog will be too.
But if you’re anxious and stressed out, your dog will likely pick up on that and act accordingly.
Which is why it is essential always to remain calm and reassure your dog during the vet visit.
You can use a calm and soothing voice, as well as pet them gently.
Reward your dog for being good
When it comes to taking an aggressive dog to the vet, you should never think about punishing them for being anxious or stressed.
This can only make the situation worse. Instead, focus on rewarding him if he behaves well.
The most important thing is that you remain in control of the situation. So again, keep your dog close to you and understand their body
Calm greetings from your vet
When you first arrive at the vet’s office, it is best to have the vet give your dog a calm greeting.
As we said earlier, your dog may become anxious and stressed out if they are greeted too enthusiastically.
So, a casual greeting will help to keep them relaxed.
It would help to remind the vet’s staff about your dog’s behaviour.
That’s where the pre-visit conversation with the vet beforehand comes into the picture.
Make sure you work with a vet who asks how to best handle your dog
Remember that not all vets have the same amount of experience with aggressive dogs.
It is essential to find a vet you feel comfortable with and who asks how to best handle your dog.
This way, you can be sure that your dog will have a positive experience at the vet’s office.
The vet may ask if your dog copes okay with a physical exam or how he goes with general handling…
Go slow and communicate any sensitive areas
The vet should be taking a hands-off approach, letting your dog sniff them before anything else happens.
A promising sign that the vet is experienced is if they have a helper present during the exam for extra safety measures.
Maintain control of your dog’s head
It would be best never to let the vet control your dog’s head during the exam.
Why? Simply because it can make your dog feel uncomfortable and stressed out.
Instead, you should maintain control of your dog’s head and only allow the vet to proceed when your dog is calm and relaxed.
To wrap things up
So, there you have it.
We hope you found this article helpful. If so, go ahead and share it with your friends!
Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind when taking your aggressive or reactive dog to the vet.
Following these practical tips should help make the experience go more smoothly for everyone involved.
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Thanks for reading and watch out for our next blog post.