Some dogs are too friendly for their own good, perhaps even being perfectly happy when burglars ransack your home. And then there are dogs who are quick to aggression and who need to be watched like a hawk. Aggression in dogs can certainly be managed, but there are some situations where managing it can be extremely difficult. Once such situation is when your dog needs to go to the vet. So what are some of the things you need to remember when your aggressive dog needs to visit the vet?
Tell Your Vet
You can't just hope for the best and have faith that your dog will behave themselves. Aggression in dogs is often a stress-based reaction, and when your dog has a history of being aggressive, you need to acknowledge the potential stress of a visit to the vet. First and foremost, you need to plainly tell your vet that your dog might lash out during the treatment. This allows your vet to take the necessary safety precautions to protect themselves and their team, while minimising your dog's anxiety during treatment.
It's Muzzle Time
At a bare minimum, your dog will likely need to be muzzled during treatment. If you already own a muzzle, put this on once you arrive at the vet's surgery. If you don't have one, don't worry. The vet's surgery can generally provide you with one, and this can be put on as soon as you arrive. You might need to put it on your dog yourself, but the staff at the vet's surgery can guide you through how to fit a muzzle if you've never put one on your dog before.
Sleeping Through the Appointment
Although your dog won't be happy with their circumstances, the muzzle will prevent them from biting. Depending on the nature of their visit, the muzzle can remain in place until you're ready to leave. When the muzzle obstructs treatment, your vet might opt to sedate your dog. This can be partial sedation, or your dog can be rendered completely unconscious. This doesn't harm your dog, and it allows the vet to perform the necessary comprehensive level of treatment without your dog becoming stressed or having the opportunity to bite.
A muzzle and occasional sedation is generally sufficient to ensure safe and efficient vet treatment for your dog, but if their aggression is becoming a problem in daily life, you might wish to ask your vet for a referral to an animal behaviourist.