Our Blog

Why Are Animals Scared Of The Vet?

October 20, 2021

Introduction

Is your pet afraid of going to the vet? Well, this is a common situations for all pets. When you try to enter the vet's office, most of them tend to cower and tuck their tails.

Although it may be impossible to make your pet a fan of vet visits,  you can still minimise their associated fear with the phrase “time to go to the vet”. In this article, we’ve some methods that could help minimize the anxiety of your dog at the sight of the vet.

Let’s find out why animals fear going to the vet!

Why Do Animals Fear the Vet?

The following are the most common reasons animals develop a fear of going to the veterinarian:

   1. Unpleasant experiences

One of the common reasons why animals feel anxious when taken to a vet is if they had had a bad experience in that past. Generally,  pets tend to feel very insecure when they are sick and when if their past experiences about visiting a vet have been unpleasant, they may feel uncomfortable.

The way you react to your pet, particularly when you take them to a vet, can also affect their state of mind when going to the vet. There are certain cues that your pet can pick up to tell them that you are worried and there’s something to be stressed about.

If your dogs have associated pain to your veterinarian's place, perhaps, they have gone through neuter/spay/other surgeries at the same clinic before, they may feel scared.

   2. Unfamiliar environment

Your pet can become anxious when introduced to a new environment.  They may feel cowed from the new scents and meeting new animals at the veterinarian. Besides, the vet's place is not their comfort zone and this can make them feel insecure.

   3. Inability to understand “better for them”

Animals only find themselves in the vet's place, they don't have the consciousness of why they are there. So, this ignorance of the benefit of being there creates fear in them.

      4. Separation anxiety

Leaving your pet alone or separating them from you can make them feel anxious.

During treatment, pets will be separated from the pet owner temporarily (depending on the severity of the condition) which may result in separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety in animals can increase their stress and lead to undesirable behaviors such as destructive behavior,  inappropriate elimination,  trying to escape,  excessive barking, etc. This point comes together with the point of association of vet clinics with the uncomfortable sensation of having to separate from the owner.

     5. Forced engagements

If your dog is not used to muzzle, they may get scared when a vet tries to use one on them. Although it is for their own good, forcing them to do something against their will which can trigger anxiety.

     6. Sense of fear: Pheromones

A Pheromone is a chemical secreted by an animal that affects the behavior of other members of the same species. Fear pheromones can be detected from other animals at the vet, which is then interpreted by your pet that something fearful is present in the clinic, could trigger a fear response in your pet.

It should also be good to note that fear pheromone from other pets comes from their fear of past experiences which is discussed earlier in the content.

How can you reduce your pet’s fear of the vet

There are different ways through which you can minimize the anxiety that your pet has for the vet. These include :

      Increasing the number of visits

Taking your pets to visit the vet from time to time is a great way to help reduce their fear. There’s a misconception that you only take your pet to the vet when its sick. You should make it a point to bring your pet for regular health check-up. With this, the environment will become familiar to the pet, thereby erasing their experience of pain associated with the clinic. This will also help to keep your pet’s physical health in check.

     

      Overcoming fear Pheromones

An effective way to curb fear of pheromones is by intercepting it with another pheromone to reassure the pet.  Here are some recommended products that can do the trick!

   • Feliway Spray Bottle for Cats 60ml: This product can provide comfort and reassurance for cats that feel stress.

   • Adaptil Spray Bottle 60ml: This product can help treat and prevent fear and stress-related behaviors.

     

      Desensitization of fear factor objects

You should try to observe and know what triggers the fear in them during vet-visit after observing that the pets are emitting fear response.

It is also important that you expose them to the objects that trigger the behavior, provided that it is safe for your pets. For instance, if your pet’s feared object is an injection syringe, please do not inject your dog unless it's advised by your vet.

Moreover, try to reward your pet with a treat or even a new toy each time they show an improved response to the object.

In conclusion, its important to bring your pets to the vet for treatment or regular check-ups. It’s also crucial that we minimise the anxiety level experienced by our pets when they visit the vet.

Share This Post

Related Articles

Healthy Dog Treats To Choose For Your Dog

Dog treats are not created equal. There are quality treats that are vital sources of energy and support the immune system and organ function while others are empty calories...

What Are The Types Of Vets?

Confused of which vet to bring your pet to? Read more to find out about what types of vets there are available!

Why Are Black Animals Less Liked?

Ever wondered why black pets are frowned upon? Find out how you can put a stop to this problem.

What is the difference between a Pet Veterinarian and a Wildlife Veterinarian?

Read on to find out how you can differentiate a pet veterinarian from a wildlife veterinarian.

Which Plants Are Poisonous For Cats?

Some plants may be great for your house, but they can be deadly to your cat!

Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?

Walnuts are nutritionally rich and this makes them great for human consumption. However, can the same be said for dogs?

My Puppy Has Diarrhea, What Should I Do?

Diarrhea can point to conditions that are life-threatening for puppies. 

Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?

Watermelon contains many vitamins and minerals beneficial for your dog. However, there are some precautions to note before giving your dog watermelon.

Is A Rabbit The Right Pet For You?

Rabbits are such adorable animals and can seem to be the perfect pet. But, are they the perfect pet for you? Find out what are some rabbit needs you might not know.

Can Dogs Eat Yoghurt?

Yoghurt can be good for your dog's nutrition, but what type of yoghurt is best?

Can Dogs Eat Apples?

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"... Is this saying true for dogs?

Why Does My Puppy Throw Up

Cases of vomiting in puppies are more serious than in adult dogs. Read on to find out more!

Why Did My Cat Poop On My Bed?

If you have a house-trained cat that is suddenly pooping on your bed, it might be a cause for concern!

perrovets' Services - Dental Procedures

Dental procedures are performed as a day procedure under anaesthesia, most commonly in Dogs, Cats and Rabbits.

Most Common Dog Diseases

Learn more about the most common dog diseases!

Can Cats Eat Peanut Butter?

Should you feed your cat peanut butter?

Most Common Cat Diseases In Singapore

Cats are vulnerable to various health issues that can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. Regardless of whether you have an indoor or indoor-outdoor cat...

Things You Need To Know About Leptospirosis

All you need to know about Leptospirosis!

Why Is My Dog Drinking So Much Water?

A dog drinking excessive amounts of water can be a sign of a health problem!

Separation Anxiety In Dogs

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic would increase the risk of dogs having separation anxiety.

Hamster Care Recommendations

From housing recommendations to diet recommendations, we've got you and your hamster covered!

Dr James Answers: Which Preventative Treatment Should I Use For My Dog?

With so many anti parasite products available on the market, it can be somewhat overwhelming deciding which one is best for your lifestyle and your dogs’ health.

Things You Need To Know About Kennel Cough

All you need to know about Kennel Cough!

Things You Need To Know About Parvovirus

What you should know about Parvovirus!

Why Do You Need To Feed Your Pets Organs Or Offals?

Long ago, the ancestors of today’s pet cats and dogs thrived as predators. To achieve the full spectrum of nutrition that they needed, they were inclined to eat most of their prey. With domestication...

Why Is My Dog Throwing Up?

A dog may throw up because he has eaten something that his digestive tract disagrees with or he may have gobbled down food too quickly...

Common Dog Parasites

Parasites can be a major concern at some point in the lives of pet dogs. They are one of the top reasons for visits to the veterinarian.

When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

Dogs benefit from regular health checks and dental visits to the veterinarian. But how often is enough? How do you know when to take your dog to the vet?

How To Overcome Separation Anxiety

Why is your dog battling with separation anxiety and how you can overcome it.

Pet Therapy For Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal emotion that dogs and cats may experience. The effect of anxiety on individual pets varies significantly. Anxiety disorders...

Why Taking Care Of Your Dog's Dental Health Is Important

Though seemingly insignificant, your dog's dental health should not be overlooked.

Ways To Improve Your Dog's Mental Health

A lack of mental stimulation can result in a plethora of behavioural issues.

Is Feeding Your Dog Raw Food Healthy?

Should you feed your dog raw food?

Why Does My Dog Hump Certain People?

Many dog owners will be familiar with the awkward scenario of their dog unexpectedly humping another dog, an inanimate object, or even a human leg.

Cat Vomiting: Should You Be Worried?

Cat vomiting may be a perfectly normal occurrence from time to time, however, it can sometimes be a sign of a serious health problem.

How To Take Care Of Your Cat’s Teeth

One of the essential components of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for pet cats is having a good home dental regiment.

Why Does My Dog Eat Dirt

Simply delicious or a symptom of illness?

Is Smoking Around Your Pets Harmful To Their Health?

Does inhalation of cigarette smoke affect our pets?

Why Does Your Dog Smell?

Why can't you get rid of that smell?

Why Is My Dog Always Eating Grass?

It may seem strange, but there's a good reason why your dog is chomping down on grass.

Why Does My Dog Eat Its Vomit?

It may or may not be a sign of illness, but it's best to find out if it is.

All About Cat Vaccinations

All you need to know about cat vaccinations!

A Vet reveals: Diet, Allergies and more

Vet answers burning questions!