Does your pet get anxious when visiting us?
There many reasons as to why pets may be “uncooperative” at a veterinary clinic, but generally, it can be attributed to anxiety, insufficient training or aggressive behaviours.
Signs of anxiety in animals can include:
Urinating or defecating during handling
Lashing out (e.g. fearful barking or hissing, attempts to bite or scratch)
Crouching or hiding
Avoiding direct eye contact
Trying to run away
If your pet is very anxious about veterinary clinic visits or procedures (e.g. nail clips), have a chat to our vet team about the best support options.
There are prescription anti-anxiety medications you can use prior to arrival, to help your pet cope and avoid escalation of their anxiety. If your pet requires a more involved medical or surgical procedure, we may administer injectable sedative medications to them with you present, and have you stay until your pet is sleepy and relaxed.
If your pet has generalised anxiety, they will benefit most from starting long-term anti-anxiety medication, and seeing a recommended veterinary behaviourist or trainer to help them gain confidence.
Aggressive behaviour is often a complex issue, so these pets are best referred to a veterinary behaviourist for correct diagnosis and management.
For vet visits, it’s best to plan with us in advance for the use of sedation prior to arrival, and placement of a muzzle for dogs. A behaviourist can help you to muzzle-train your dog, so they feel comfortable with a muzzle on. These measures not only ensure everyone’s safety, but also help to reduce your pet’s stress.
Insufficient training (e.g. excessive excitement preventing proper handling or lead-walking) can be remedied by working with a certified trainer who is familiar with gentle, positive reinforcement techniques. These trainers tend to get the best long-term results, without making your pet fearful.
If you have any behaviour concerns about your pet, have a chat to our team to discuss your options. We’re here to help!