How do you keep your pet calm in the Vet office?

United States
April 9, 2012 12:51pm CST
I have a Terrier Mix dog who I saved from a shelter a couple years ago. She is the sweetest dog ever to any person, big or small. She does have some 'baggage' though when it comes to getting along with other animals...any animals. She either freaks out and tries to hide under me(keep in mind she is a medium size dog at about 45 lbs) or she will start to go crazy pulling on the leash and goes into attack mode whining and barking. I have already been to three different Vets in my area with not much success in our visits. Every single one I have told that she has a problem before we even get there, and yet they do not put us in a separate room to wait, but let me fight with her for up to 2 hours(yes, I waited in the waiting room for 2 hrs. once for a Vet to just check her ears) and said they were just behind and nothing they could do about it. It exhausts her and me to keep a constant pull on that leash and we have already tried the mussle route with no success. She gets them off seconds after putting it on...very smart dog. I just don't want to Dread going to the vet! Can you help me please?
2 people like this
7 responses
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
9 Apr 12
Do you have a cell phone? I know that's a crazy question for your discussion, but if you have a cell phone arrange with the receptionist that to make everything more comfortable for EVERYONE you will take the dog outside and walk her around to relax her and keep her comfortable. When it is time for your appointment the receptionist can call you on the cell phone and let you know. That way you can keep the dog calm and be able to simply go straight to the exam room rather than sit and wait for the appointment and have not only the dog's anxiety levels go through the roof, but will relieve the stress and anxiety levels you experience decrease. Plus the office would appreciate not having your dog come unstrung in the waiting room. Training her to not act up in the vet's office will be impossible at best. As smart as she is, there is a reason for her actions and it would take a lot of time to figure out the reasons. Plus it isn't like you go to the vet's office every day so the training wouldn't be consistent. The best thing to do is to keep her away from the source of her anxiety and stress until it's time for her appointment. Whether it's keeping her in the car or walking her until the office calls. If you don't have a cell phone, then keep the dog in the car and keep checking back with the receptionist frequently to see if they are ready for you. Keeping Sadie away from the source of the problem will make the vet visits more productive.
2 people like this
• United States
9 Apr 12
Lovebear thank you for your response. I did try the cellphone with the second office after the 2 hr. wait in the first office. I walked and walked her for about an hour and then finally went in asking if it would be soon and they said they "Forgot" I was out there. The third office I even called 20 min. before the appt. to see if there was a wait and there was none. She said that will work for your first visit, but next time they aren't going to tell me and I will need to keep the appointment whether there was a long wait or not? More than anything, I think I need to find a better vet that will be willing to work with me and my dog, instead of making it more horrible on all of us.
1 person likes this
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
9 Apr 12
It sounds like the vets you've been going to are the more modern ones more concerned with the money than the pet. I would look for an old fashioned vet that will work with you about the stress and anxiety issues. There is absolutely NO excuse for making someone wait two hours for the appointment and then tell someone that they "forgot" that I was there!!! I would have had their heads on a platter!!!! I would still be chewing them out. You were trying to be considerate of other people and their dogs by taking yours outside and they "FORGOT" about you!!! Shoot, give me their name and I will chew them out for you!!!! There was no excuse for that!! I have had pretty good luck with vets and if they give me any crap they end up getting chewed out before the door slams behind me. I was so pissed at one vet that when I tried to slam the door I broke the woosher closer thing that slowly closes the door behind the customer. They tried to make me pay for it and I told them exactly what to do with themselves, and it wasn't nice. They forgot about trying to get me to pay.. I would check around with shelters and other pet owners and see if they can recommend a good old fashioned vet who will work with you and the problem with the dog.
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Apr 12
I have a very anxious shelter/rescue dog too... I've had him not quite a year yet. He's great with other dogs but still nervous in new settings. He's somewhere between 16-18 pounds... supposed to be a mini-dachshund but he's a bit over the breed standard of 15 pounds. Basically, he not that big lol I was just reading an article yesterday, written by a vet, about the goings-on in veterinary offices. I would really suggest that you crate your dog while she's in the waiting room. Does she sleep in a crate or do you have any form of carrier for while she's in the car, etc.? Dogs that already have high anxiety levels can get really agitated by other animals, kids, whatever, while at the vet, and as you said, sometimes the wait can be long. A dog's crate/carrier is their sanctuary in times like that. If she has a familiar place to go, where she feels safe, your visit will go a lot smoother. Even if she whines or barks, you're always going to know that nothing can happen to her - and you won't have the physical and mental struggle of getting through the visit.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Apr 12
This is a great idea too! Right now she has a crate but it is a bar one that is pretty much permanetly in the living room( too big to put in the car). I have been looking at travel ones for long trips. Right now she sits in the car with a seatbelt harness to keep her in the seat. Will definately continue to look at this...maybe there is one with wheels? She is pretty heavy as it is without the extra weight of a crate.
2 people like this
• Canada
10 Apr 12
I use a standard carrier in the van... pretty much like this style, which I did buy at Walmart, just in Canada: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Pet-Taxi-Portable-Kennel-Cats-Dogs-Small-Animals/4087825 I find the carrier itself doesn't have a huge weight to it so, for sure, it's more awkward but not much heavier than carrying just my dog. There are dog/pet strollers widely available and some can accommodate dogs up to 100 or 150 pounds so there would certainly be one appropriate to your dog :) Not much different than taking a baby stroller somewhere... if you don't feel uncomfortable pushing your dog in one LOL My sister really wants one of these for her senior Yorkie mix who can't go on long walks like her younger dog can. She wants to be able to take the two of them out at the same time so she feels this might be a solution: http://www.hunterk9.com/site/870877/product/PG8250 Also, you can check into "airline approved" dog carriers because there are many on wheels... much like rolling suitcases. Again, here's an example but these are smaller than what your specific dog would need... just to show what they look like: http://www.doggiecarriers.com/Pet-Wheel-Around-p/hk9-86101-86310.htm Ultimately, I think you'll be doing such a great thing for your dog by making her feel safe and secure at the vet (or any other places you may have to take her)
1 person likes this
@savypat (20246)
• United States
9 Apr 12
There is no way, Sadie hound is terrified and shakes the whole time. The Vet finally gave me a pill to give her to calm her. She's never really been hurt I think sshe just senses all the other dog's fear. 56 lbs of fearful dog is to much for me to handle, Hubby has to come along to help.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Apr 12
Ah my dog's name is Saidie too! I am single and both my parents work during the day when appointments are easiest come by so I am pretty much on my own for this. I guess I should ask for a pill for her if it escalates any more. Thanks for the tips!
1 person likes this
@NailTech (6890)
• United States
10 Apr 12
I only have a cat and she is usually fine, she stays i the cat carrier most of the time. I hope the calming pill helps. Someone else suggested that and it was exactly the same thing I was thinking.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Apr 12
We don't have any problems on our pets regarding on this issue. All of our dogs our always calm whenever they are in a vet office. :)
1 person likes this
@lakantar (1575)
• Greece
9 Apr 12
Well whenever I hold his head gently with both my hands (if we go for a shot) and I usually pet him so he won't feel anxious :)
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9690)
• Canada
24 Apr 12
I dont have those issues with my pup when i take her to the vet. She's always so excited to go anywhere. Luckily for me she's small and I can hold her and tell her to be good and she minds me when we go rather than bouncing all over people and their pets. Often with my vet i take her and leave her with them for the morning so she can be seen at the vets leisure - especially in the spring he does alot of rural calls for calving and such. They take her and she goes to one of the kennels and i pick her up at noon or 4:30. I had one dog that got VERY upset when we took him to the vet. We usually had to put him into the kennel before taking him in rather than on a leash or he would try to attack bark and growl at the others in the waiting area. Putting him in the kennel he would lay there and growl but no one was at risk of being hurt. As soon as he was out of the waiting area and seeing the vet he was back to being happy and calm.