Jan 202012

All you dogs, this post has been a long time coming. Some of us go to visits with the veterinarian and are totally cool with it.  Others of us go to the veterinarian and range from skittish to totally terrorized. Where do you fit in?

We can talk about just waiting in the waiting room or bump it up a notch to being in the examination room, or having some procedure done. I’ve seen many dogs hang out behind their parents’ legs in the animal hospital waiting rooms; I’ve tried to make friends with many of these dogs, to calm them down and offer friendship, but they’re just frozen in fear.

I’m on the cool dude side.  When I had my injuries from being hit by the car, I had to have surgery, and xrays taken, and all sorts of procedures done on  me, including having my bandages changed regularly, and my wounds cleaned.  The doctors would ask my mom, “Does he need to be knocked out?” and except for actual surgery, and dental surgery, no, I didn’t.

It helped to have somebody just petting my head and saying “Good boy, Joey” and for splint changes I would need two technicians (my mom counted as “one”) but together we made it through everything, no “puppy’s little helper” required.

But many other dogs do. They have to take anything from a “calm down” pill to having an injection.

Let’s talk about this.

Do you think there’s a difference between how small and large dogs handle this?

Dogs who have been surgically “altered” and those who have not?

I am waiting to hear from you.


  2 Responses to “Dogs Who Are Afraid of the Veterinarians”

  1. Oh yes, I can relate to this topic!! I can go anywhere on the scale from skittish to terrified! And the funny thing is, I’m a pretty mellow guy usually! But, I guess I learned (and remember!) a long time ago that nothing all that great happens to me at the vet, the groomer, the pet hospital, etc. This is where I really wish short-term memory would kick in! I just remember everything and then get all worked up and start whining and making some really funny sounds my mom never hears except at those places! I will admit that seeing the different dogs and cats there, and all the new smells, well, I like that part! And I like the treat they give me on my way out the door too! Once I’m out of there I go right back to my ‘ol regular self and I’m glad I can do that!

    I had surgery on my leg (got out and got hit by a car after getting super scared hearing the fireworks! – that’s a whole other story!) anyway, I have to be sedated now to get my bandages changed. Mom tried to give me a “calm down” pill but boy, that made me SO LOOPY that mom thinks the knock out drug is better for me (and her!). She doesn’t like it, but since I just can’t seem to calm down and cooperate — and I’m a pretty good-sized dog — it’s too dangerous to try and change the bandages and splint while I’m awake. But if I’m just going for a vet check up or something like that, then I don’t need to take any “little helpers” because it’s not such a big deal that I’m perfectly still and calm like it is when they do surgical kind of stuff!

    So, all you dogs that get nervous like me, well, I guess it’s just in our nature, I don’t know. And for those of you who are so brave, my tail wags big time for you!! Wish I could be that way!!


    • Thanks for your comments and for your personal anecdotes. It’s difficult for a dog to admit this stuff. But it sounds like you’re at a very high level – of self-acceptance.

      You bring up a good point: the treats they give us at the hospital. One time when I was there, the vet reached to give me one treat in the office, and My mom stopped her and said, “NO. ONE TREAT per day is all he gets.” But this is a special doctor, and the doctor said, “okay, then a small one” and my Mom caved in. But apparently the treat doesn’t relax (some) dogs before a procedure, even if the procedure is something as lame as having a bandage changed.

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