How to manage the veterinary medical examination of a fearful or reactive dog

In general, there are few dogs that go to the vet without problems, but this can become a big trouble for scary or reactive. Here are some tips to try to reduce the anxiety and tension connected with the visit to the vet.

Take the time you need

Especially if you are going to attend a new veterinary clinic, always try to take the time it takes for you and your dog. Talk to your doctor, explain the issues and try to figure out if she/he is the right vet for you. Not everyone is able to understand the needs of a dog with behavioral problems.

Be prepared for it

One of the secrets to trying to reduce the problems that a medical examination of a vet can create is to be prepared for it. As it happens in other aspects of the dog’s life, like putting on the harness or wearing the coat, scary or reactive dogs need more time to accept the news; in reality, all dogs should always be given the opportunity to discover things gradually.

Going to the vet can be very annoying. In general, the dog knows very little about the person who examines it and this is a first major obstacle for dogs who fear novelties and react to them. This is why it is advisable to go visit the clinic several times before the actual medical examination. If your dog is reactive with other dogs, you can agree with your doctor to meet you when there are no other patients in the clinic.

I followed this procedure: thanks to the availability of the doctor, Argos was able to get to know her a little before making the annual vaccines and the check-up and this made things easier.

veterinary medical examination - Just My Dog

Use the muzzle

Especially in the case of dogs that react, it is essential to be able to put the muzzle. Start on muzzle training your dog long before the medical examination, following the instructions in this article. In this way, you will help the vet to work more calmly and his serenity will have positive consequences on your dog too.

Work on your emotions as well

As I discussed in this article, your emotions can have can have consequences on your dog’s feeling. Between me and Argos this connection is very strong, so when it comes to going to the vet, I have to work on myself first, staying calm and trying not to get caught up in anxiety. Try and you will be surprised by the results.

Reward the dog, before and after

Try to distract the dog with activities he loves doing, both before and after the medical examination. A different walk or a special food prize can be a good idea. What is important is to make sure that the visit is not the event of the day, but only one of the many things done together.



Have you experimented with other solutions to reduce the problems of visiting the vet? Write it in the comments!