Why Doesn't My Dog Behave at the Vet?

Learn why some dogs don’t behave at the vet.

Many people are surprised when their dog seems to forget all his manners and ignores everything the owner tells him to do while at the veterinarian's office.

Sometimes, this issue can even keep people from going to the vet with their dogs, and that's not good. Dogs need to visit the vet for routine exams and preventive care.

Why Do Some Dogs Forget to Behave at the Vet?

Owners might notice their dog pulls on the leash, refuses to sit or lie down, jumps on people, barks, or hides at the vet's office. The behavior can be really upsetting to pet owners, and some people get embarrassed by it.

Dogs can quickly become overwhelmed at the vet clinic. It can be scary (even terrifying) or super exciting. Dogs that generally listen to their owners and behave well might suddenly have too much emotion going on to hear and obey. Unfortunately, some dogs may become so fearful at the vet that they could even bite at staff or the doctor.

How Can I Reduce My Dog's Vet Fear?

The best way to improve your dog's behavior at the vet is to reduce any fear or excitement he might experience there. You can do that by using some or all the following techniques:

Some dogs benefit from taking a short-acting oral sedative or anti-anxiety medicine before a vet visit. Never give anything without first talking to your vet, though, and be sure to consider all the possible side effects first.

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