Researchers from the University of Adelaide have been trying to better understand how dogs feel when undergoing a physical examination at the vets by monitoring their heart rate
Despite it being in their best interest, a trip to the vets can spark anxiety in dogs and their owners.
A new study has revealed just how much dogs dislike the vets - with results showing the average dogs' heart rate doubling between the waiting room and examination table.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide have been monitoring dogs ' heart rates throughout their routine trip to better understand what our four-legged friends go through.
The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, reads: "Regular veterinary care is integral to companion dog health and welfare, but fearful patients can inhibit provision of care and pose a risk of injury to veterinary staff.
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"This study aimed to identify the physiological and behavioural responses of a sample of 30 dogs of various age and breed, to a standardised physical examination in a simulated veterinary setting."
The 30 dogs underwent a routine physical examination while hooked up to the heart rate monitors, with the average heart rate coming out at 97bpm (beats per minute) in the waiting room.
However, this jumped to 180bpm after entering the examination room, with one poor greyhound giving a heart rate reading of 230bpm.
The study adds: "The findings of the present study suggest a routine aspect of veterinary care, the physical examination, elicits a fear response in healthy companion dogs in a mock veterinary setting,' the researchers wrote.
"This means that while fear may develop relating to other animals present, sounds or odours, there may also be parts of the physical examination that provoke fear either because of a previous negative experience relating to a physical examination, or fear relating to handling."
They discovered female dogs were more frightened of their vet visits than male dogs, and would display fearful body language, including tilting their ears back and tucking their tail between their legs.
To improve your dog's experience at the vets, the Blue Cross recommends exposing them to the building, its staff and equipment.
A statement reads: "Help your dog build up a positive feeling about their local veterinary surgery by taking regular walks to the practice.
"Go at a quiet time if possible, take your dog’s favourite treats and let them sniff around and make it a fun experience.
"Ask to pop your dog on the weighing scales while you’re there, and give them lots of treats to make it a pleasant experience for them."
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