A visit to the veterinarian is inevitable if you have a pet dog. Are you one such pet parent who skips routine vet visits because your pooch acts strangely after a checkup?
Dogs may behave strangely after vet visits due to reluctance to see the vet, side effects of vaccinations or anesthesia, stress, & they’re going through a fear period. Practicing with him at home, frequent vet visits, a comfortable ride to the vet, & the use of mild sedatives can avoid this issue.
Join us to find out what causes this strange behavior and how to get rid of it in the future.
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Why do some dogs behave strangely after the vet visit?
It is not a surprise that visiting the veterinarian is an unpleasant task for many pet parents and pets.
Is your loving dog one such pet who acts strangely after a vet visit? Out of many possible reasons, let’s find out the 5 common reasons for such behavior.
1. Seems not to like visiting the veterinarian.
Think about yourself. Is an appointment with your doctor always an enjoyable scenario?
It brings you some stress; you can be worried about the tests to be performed on you and its result.
It’s similar to your pooch. It seems he knows what’s going to happen next when you take him to the vet.
So simply, the pets act strangely after a visit to the vet visit because the experiences they just received can be painful, or it can be not pleasant.
2. Side effects of vaccination.
As with humans, dogs and puppies also feel different after vaccination.
Vaccines activate their immune system, and as a result, they can feel feverish; the site of vaccination can be still sore, causing pain and discomfort, some puppies will vomit.
So I agree with you that dogs act strangely after a vet visit, and it can be due to the physical discomfort he goes through after vaccination.
Tuned with us to find, what are the effects of vaccination.
3. Side effects of anaesthesia.
Another reason we take our pet to the vet is to neuter/ spay him or conduct a required surgery on him.
These surgeries are performed under anesthesia or sedatives according to the medical requirement. The effect of these drugs can persist for a few days, and it can change the normal behavior of your pooch.
If he undergoes surgery, the discomfort caused by pain will also make him feel sick and less active.
Many things can cause your dog to be stressed if he is visiting the vet.
If you have a puppy and he has never visited the vet before, his first visit can always be challenging and cause some stress.
This is mainly because he has not been to the vet office before, and the surroundings can be strange.
And also, this might be the very first time he sees this many animals and people together in a room.
Even if it is an adult dog who had visited the vet office before, seeing many animals and people all at once can cause him some stress.
For some procedures, your dog or puppy will be taken away from you; this can affect him if your pooch is not very comfortable around strangers.
Another reason to cause stress is the ride he takes to visit the vet. Some dogs do not enjoy car rides, especially if it is to visit the vet.
Not only those, but if you are overly concerned and you become stressed about your pet’s vet visit, he might sense it and be tenser.
5. Your pup might be going through a fear period.
If it is your pup who is acting strangely after a visit to the veterinarian, one reason other than the ones mentioned above can be because he is going through a fear period.
As puppies grow, they go through some periods of life where they are easily scared by small changes; a vet visit can be one such time.
Give your puppy some time to get used to vet visits; he will overcome that fear eventually.
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Should you worry if your dog acts weirdly after the vet visit?
It is hard to directly answer this, so let us slowly go through the details.
As we discussed, if your pet feels a bit strange, less active, and feverish after taking a vaccine, it can be mainly due to its side effects.
This can persist for about 24 hours- 48 hours. If he doesn’t show any serious discomfort or change, you do not have to worry too much.
But keep an eye on your pet and monitor his recovery. If it goes away after two days, it can be due to the causes mentioned above.
However, after taking a vaccine, if he doesn’t recover within at least two days, you have to closely observe him, and you should contact your veterinarian and take his/her opinion.
Here is some instance where you must immediately contact your veterinarian if your dog acts differently after vaccination.
- If the vaccination site is swollen for 2 weeks or more and if it is enlarged causing pain to the dog.
- Continuous diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Swelling of other body parts soon after vaccination; like the muzzle area, eyes.
- Difficulty in breathing.
These allergic reactions can occur within minutes to days. So closely watch your pet if he is acting strangely after a vet visit.
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How can you comfort your dog after the vet visits?
The ways you can comfort your dog after a vet visit can change according to the reason of the vet visit and the way your pet is behaving after the visit.
You can immediately start the process of comfort. If the veterinary office is overcrowded and you are done with your appointment, you can inform the staff that your pooch will be waiting in the car until completing the payment and, if required, other paperwork.
You can escort your dog to your vehicle and let him stay in it because he might be more comfortable there than being in a place with many other animals.
If you are accompanying a family member or a friend, you can let them stay in the car with your pet, so he will feel safer.
Decreasing the time duration spent at the vet office will fast the recovery process.
What’s your dogs’ favorite food?
Frankly, there is no better time to give him a treat than when he is upset. A good treat can bring him back to his good mood.
After completing the vet visit, you can give some of his favorite food to make him happier and more relaxed. It will also make the car ride back home more enjoyable.
After reaching home, let him relax for some time, allow him to take a good nap, and settle down.
You can give him more attention and pet him if he likes it. Do not let him feel down for so long. Help him to get back to his normal routine.
If your pet visited the vet to undergo a surgical procedure, you have to comfort him with special care.
Your priority should be his comfort. Arrange him a comfortable and calm place to rest. If there are other pets at your home or small kids, try to find a place where they cannot reach your sick dog.
Let him rest until the anesthesia wears down, and it will also help the recovery process. Provide him with a light diet at first but gradually start his normal diet by adding more nutritious food to speed recovery.
If he is in too much pain, contact your veterinarian and take the necessary steps to relieve the pain.
How to prevent this behaviour from happening in the future?
As we know, a vet visit is inevitable for your pet. Rather than stressing out every time he has to visit the vet, we will try to find out what will make a visit to the veterinarian less scary and more normal.
Let’s find out 7 methods you can follow to ensure your dog is okay after a vet visit.
1. A comfortable ride to the vet.
A bad ride can affect the veterinary appointment as well as cause him to act strangely even after the vet visit.
So a comfortable ride is a must!
Here are some exciting ways to make the car ride more enjoyable.
You can take your pets’ favorite toy and blanket when he is traveling with you. This will make him comfortable.
Also, bring some of his favorite treats. If your doggy is scared of car rides and because of that, you have avoided riding him in the car except for going to the vet, this will give him the impression that a car ride always means a vet visit.
Therefore, he will be more tense knowing that he is going to the vet.
To avoid that from happening, take him out with you to other places like picking up some dog food, so he will get used to car rides and understand that it will not always be a vet visit.
2. Practice makes perfect!
One of the reasons for your dog acting strangely after a vet visit might be because he has been handled by many people in different ways in the clinic.
To carry out the general clinical examinations on your pet, the veterinarian will have to palpate different body parts, auscultate and take blood samples.
If your dog isn’t used to these procedures, it can cause him some discomfort or stress.
To avoid that in the future you can practice with him at home. Try to palpate different parts of his body, position him in different postures, do some basic muzzle training because sometimes it is required at the vet office.
If you continue practicing with him until he is used to it, the next vet visit can be more successful. To make him more interactive and enthusiastic, give him a treat if he performs well.
If you own a cute puppy or a cat, and you have to carry them in a carrier to the vet, this can also cause them some discomfort.
So, you can do the same thing with them by simply practicing with them at home.
Put them inside the carrier at home once in a while and let them just stay; Also, you can put some of his favorite toys and stuff inside. This will give him the idea that a carrier doesn’t always mean a vet visit.
3. Frequent visits to the vet office.
The idea of this step is to get your pet used to being in the vet office. Your pooch might have the wrong idea that a vet visit means vaccination, surgery, or other medications.
This might be the reason why he is upset after each visit. To get rid of this idea, you can visit the vet office even if you do not have an appointment.
Take him thereafter your evening walk or after picking up groceries. Allow him to get used to the place, to look at other people and their pets, have some chat with the veterinary staff, allow him to sniff the place.
All these steps will make him get used to the vet office.
4. Allow him to sniff.
Dogs get used to people and places easily if we allow them to sniff and understand by themselves.
Therefore, when you are in the vet office, allow them to sniff the surrounding, the reception area, and inside the examination room.
Let him get used to the staff by interacting with them. It will make the vet office more familiar.
5. Keep yourself calm.
As pet parents, we are worried about our pets. If our previous vet visit was bad, we would worry about the next visit days before the appointment.
We act tense with our pets, and they can feel it too. This will ultimately make them stressed and tense. Try to act normal with your pet days before the vet visit and on the day of the appointment.
Do not show your anxiousness to your pet; it will give him the idea something unusual is gonna happen.
6. Discuss with the veterinary office staff about your pet’s fears.
If your pooch is scared and uncomfortable at the vet office, it is best you openly share your situation with the veterinary staff.
Ask them if it’s okay that you and your pet stay inside the car until your appointment. The shorter duration he spends at the vet office can reduce his stress.
7. Use of mild sedatives.
This is not commonly required. However, if it is extremely hard for your pooch to get used to a vet visit, you can discuss with your veterinarian about a proper medication to be administered.
Some medications can reduce the anxiety of your pet. However, this step must be taken under the supervision of your veterinarian.
Things to be aware of.
We have to understand that your dog acting strangely after a vet visit can be normal, or sometimes it can be serious.
Here’re some basic things to keep in mind to find out whether your dog’s reactions are normal or abnormal.
Normal effects after vaccination.
- Mild fever.
- Slight swelling at the vaccination site, which will disappear after 2 weeks.
- Loss of appetite.
- Less active.
Signs of stress at home or the vet office.
- Licking of lips.
- Attempt to hideaway.
- Dilated pupils.
This article briefs about 5 reasons and 7 solutions if your dog acts strangely after a vet visit.