Click here to learn more.
Does your pet turn into a growling grump whenever you take her to the vet? Maybe he’s just a little nippy when you brush him or try to clip his toenails. Or perhaps she’s one of those pups who gets super stressed whenever kids are around.
Most of us whose pets can get aggressive let unsuspecting humans know the risk before they enter the zone of high probability for bad interactions. A surprisingly high percentage of pet owners, however, are either clueless when it comes to their pets’ proclivities or unwilling to divulge the fact of their pets’ aggression — as if this common reaction somehow speaks ill of them.
Unfortunately, when owners fail to fully comprehend or fess up to the reality of their pets’ propensity for nippiness, they tend to put veterinarians and their teams at risk.
Sure, veterinary medicine is a risky business. It’s a fact of life for us, so we don’t hold it against the animals when they act out. We do, however, get irked by owners who observe aggressive behavior in their pets and fail to warn us about it ahead of time and minimize the behavior, or make excuses for the behavior.
Making excuses for aggression isn’t an issue in and of itself, especially since most owners think of them as explanations rather than excuses. What it signals, however, is that an owner isn’t taking the problem as seriously as he should be.
Here are 10 common claims that I typically hear in the aftermath of a dangerous encounter:
Sure, it’s possible. A veterinary hospital can be a strange and forbidding place, and there’s always a first time for everything. The problem with this comment is that it speaks to the owner’s desire to downplay the significance of the event, which doesn’t tend to give us the warm fuzzies when it comes to future interactions.
It’s undoubtedly the case that every animal hospital and each individual veterinarian will exert their own unique effects on any given pet, but with this comment, the implication is that we're doing something to trigger the aggressive behavior, instead of acknowledging that this is an innate issue that needs to be addressed.
Maybe so, but I’m not taking your word for it. In almost any version of dog and cat language, a low rumbling sound means aggression. Interpret this sound at home at your own peril, but don’t put our staff at risk by denying that a growl just happened. At the very least, don’t act all surprised when the vet wants to apply a muzzle. It’s our flesh on the line, after all.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
A Texas couple found Sadie the dog
wandering in their yard and used her
rabies tag to track down her owners.
At Flying Horse Farms, a free camp for
children battling serious illnesses, the
most popular counselors are dogs.
Check out family-friendly destinations like
Virginia’s Chincoteague Island and the
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in…
Find out how our experts voted and
whether they think it’s OK to shave
longhaired pets in the summer.
The Kooikerhondje is a fun-loving and
intelligent red and white Dutch retriever
who was bred to lure ducks into a…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.