My Dog is Aggressive At The Vet – What To Do?

Many dogs get aggressive at the vet and lunge, growl and even try to bite. If your dog flips out at the vet, first and foremost, try to find out why it behaves the way it does. Once you successfully get to the root of aggressive behavior, work with a dog trainer/behaviorist to develop an effective training program.

Here are some common reasons why some dogs become aggressive at the vet office.

Poor Socialization

If your dog wasn’t properly socialized to new places, people, and pets, it may get confused and react violently whenever it meets strangers, including your vet, or is placed in unfamiliar surroundings such as the vet’s clinic.

To socialize your dog and help them overcome their fear of the unknown, introduce them to as many people, objects, places, sounds and pets as possible.

Drop your furry friend at a pet boarding in San Rafael before leaving for work or vacation. Pet boarding facilities provide lots of physical and mental stimulation for their guests. Your dog will have plenty of opportunities to interact with other dogs, watch them and learn from them.

At top rated pet boarding facilities like Bridewell Hilltop Kennels, staff are trained to recognize and address behavioral issues with guests. If you think that your pup may need some extra assistance in working on their socialization skills, let the trained staff know ahead of your visit.

Another way to increase your dog’s socialization is to go on daily walks to expose your dog to new sights, sounds, smells, animals, people, and situations. Take your four-legged friend for frequent walks.

Past Vet Trauma

Some dogs might have had a bad experience at the vet’s office in their past. Revisiting the veterinarian’s office might bring back these feelings of anxiety and trauma for your pet.

Maybe someone handled them roughly the last time, a large dog bit them while they were waiting with their human parents at the reception, or they fell off the examination table and hurt themselves.

The Pup’s Human Parents Get Nervous

Studies have shown that dogs can read human emotions and are receptive to their human parents’ feelings. If you get overly nervous before a vet visit, your energy may affect your furry friend’s behavior.

How a dog reacts when it’s nervous depends on its personality. A shy dog may urinate or freeze, whereas an assertive dog may get aggressive and try to bite anyone who handles it.

Here are some tips to calm a dog before a visit so that it does not freak out:

  • Try anti-anxiety medications or dog appeasing pheromones
  • Exercise your pooch before the visit
  • If your pooch does not like the environment in the waiting area, wait in your car until your appointment
  • Take your furry friend for fun rides to areas around your vet’s clinic

Bridewell Hilltop Boarding Kennels is a reputable dog boarding facility in San Rafael. We pamper our guests with specializes attention to fit their unique care needs. To schedule a tour of our facility, call (415) 897-5471.

Bridewell Hilltop Boarding Kennels & Cattery is dedicated exclusively to the care of dogs, cats, and small animals other than reptiles. Bridewell specializes in dog boarding, cat boarding, pet grooming and more for the areas of Novato, San Rafael and Marin County.