So your dog is a jerk at the vet. Part 3 – Breaking bad habits

So your dog is a jerk at the vet. Part 3 – Breaking bad habits

If your pet has already established a negative association with the vet clinic, it may be difficult to break them of some of their bad habits such as growling, pulling at the leash, scratching or biting.  Your veterinary team has some options to help modify your pet’s behavior at the vet.

  • Pheromone therapy: animals communicate using pheromones, they are detected in the nose and give the brain different signals.  Dog and cat appeasing pheromones have been isolated that help to establish a feeling of calm and security and come in a number of different formulations.  For some pets this can make all the difference.
  • Desensitization: by bringing your pet to the vet multiple times without being examined or having a treatment, they can start to be convinced that the clinic is not as scary as they thought.  Bring your pet in to be weighed, get some treats, and visit with everyone.  After a few visits your dog may learn to like these visits and be more tolerant of exams and procedures.  Be sure to call ahead to see what the busy times are for the clinic to maximize the positive experience.
  • Medication: for animals that are very fearful or anxious, desensitization therapy does not always work on its own.  In some cases medications that help alleviate the physical effect of stress on the body and maximize the ‘feel good’ hormones in the brain can be used to help your pet feel more comfortable at the vet.  Over time, these medicated visits can change your pet’s physiological fight or flight response to the vet, and allow them to be weaned off the medication for vet visits.

We want to make your pets as comfortable as possible at the clinic and would love to work with you using these techniques to achieve your goals.

Comments are closed.