Reduce your dog’s fear of vet visits with this stress-busting tip from an expert trainer

Veterinarian bandaging a paw of a dog lying on the table at veterinary clinic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.

Let's be honest — there are very few dogs who relish a trip to the vet. But while almost all of our canine companions dislike these visits, some find it more anxiety-inducing than others.

Whether your fur friend is showing some of the common signs a dog is in pain or you're bringing home a puppy for the first time and need to get started on those all important vaccines, there will always be occasions that warrant a vet visit. 

But that doesn't mean it has to be a stressful experience for you and your canine companion.

Expert trainer Carolyn, the founder of Good Dog Training, says that both she and her dog Ellie find vet lobbies incredibly anxiety-inducing.

Knowing that she's not the only one, she's put together a useful Instagram post detailing her top tip to help you and your pup stay calm when visiting the vet.

Read on to find out more...

Carolyn's biggest piece of advice for dog's that hate the vet is that you don't have to wait in the lobby until your dog gets called to be seen.

"Every time I go to the vet with my dog, I see countless reactive, aggressive, or terrified dogs waiting in the small crowded lobby.

"And I always want to tell these owners struggling with their dogs that they can leave their dog in the car while they check in," she explains.

Carolyn goes on to say that it's perfectly okay to check in without your dog and explain to staff that you'll keep your dog in the car until they have a room available.

"That way, instead of waiting in a stressful lobby, they can wait in the comfy car and you only have to walk them through the lobby to get to your exam room. 

If it's too hot to leave your dog alone in the car, Carolyn suggests waiting in the vehicle with them and calling the clinic from there. You can then relax in the comfort of the air conditioning. 

And if your dog is very fearful, skip the lobby altogether and ask to be let in via a side or back door. 

"Most vet staff want to keep people and other dogs safe, and they want your dog to not be terrified. They're happy to help and it's easier for them too," says Carolyn. 

Check out Carolyn's post in full above for some helpful advice on how you can explain your dog's needs to your vet.

And for a vet's view on the pros and cons of pet insurance and whether it may be of benefit to you and your pup, check out our guide to is pet insurance worth it?

Don't miss out! We've rounded up the best Black Friday pet deals.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.