Fear Free Vet Visits

 

 

 

 

Our Fear Free Commitment to You and Your Pet

We are proud to have Fear Free certified professionals on our team and are dedicated to caring for your pet’s emotional well-being as well as his or her physical well-being.

We’d like you to know how we meet that goal. Is your pet showing signs of bad stress and anxiety before arriving at the veterinary office? Ask us if pre-visit sedation or supplements
might take the edge off and keep your pet happy and relaxed.

Would your pet be more comfortable waiting in the car rather than the waiting room? Just let us know, and we’ll be glad to accommodate you.

You’ll be brought into the exam room a few minutes before your pet will be seen because we’d like the two of you to spend some calm time together. This will allow your pet to
explore the room and relax a little first.

Special calming chemical signals, known as pheromones, are infused throughout the room. Only dogs and cats can smell them, and they find them relaxing. The music in the room
is also specially created for canine and feline stress reduction.

We promise to keep our voices low and calm, and to never use force to examine, test, or treat your pet. We’ll use gentle control techniques, innovative tools, and medication when
necessary to ensure your pet’s emotional health isn’t sacrificed for the sake of medical care.

Unless it’s medically inappropriate, we’ll be giving your pet lots of treats during the visit. This is so he or she starts associating a trip to the veterinarian with good things! That will keep
stress levels low. Bringing your pet into the appointment hungry can help this process along! *Please be aware that we may use peanut butter as a distraction/treat for your dog. Please advise us if you, or any family member, have a peanut allergy.

Some pets prefer to be examined up high, on the table, in your lap, in their carrier, or on the floor. We’ll go where we need to go to make your pet comfortable during the exam. We’ll also
use specialized distraction techniques to keep your pet focused on good experiences while we perform procedures such as injections that might cause brief stress or pain.

 

What You Can Do to Make Visits to the Vet Easier on Your Pet

Car Tripping:   For many pets, especially cats, car trips seem to end poorly (in the pet’s opinion). If the only time you got in a car you were going to get a shot or have a stranger poke a thermometer somewhere you’d rather he didn’t, you’d have a bad attitude about travel, too. Mix it up. Take your pet for rides he’ll enjoy. For dogs, head for a place to hike or to a store where pets are welcome. Though your cat likely won’t enjoy visiting, just getting out for a ride with treats and praise can help make him less nervous about future journeys.

Carrier Comfort:   Like the car, for many animals a carrier means a trip to the veterinarian because that’s the only time they’re in one. That’s why many pets make themselves scarce the moment the carrier comes up from the basement or down from the garage rafters. Change the script: Make the carrier part of the household furnishings. Though you may not want it as part of your formal living room, make space for it in an area your pet sees daily, such as the laundry room. Pets who are familiar with their carriers are more comfortable in them when it comes time to get on the road.

Good Scents:   Synthetic pheromones mimic scents animals create to calm themselves and others. They’re available for both dogs and cats, and in many cases they can help calm an anxious pet. Spritz some on the cushion or towel inside the carrier, and spray even more on a towel to put over the carrier. This will turn the carrier into the cat equivalent of a cozy den with the smell of cookies coming from the kitchen.

Hungry Is Better:   And speaking of cookies, take treats but make sure your pet is hungry enough to want them. It won’t hurt your pet to skip the meal before a veterinary visit, but it will make the treats they’ll have at the hospital seem even more delicious.

Social Vet Visits:   Arrange to take your pet into the vet’s office for a visit when there’s nothing wrong. Let them get treats and praise. It will teach them that the vet’s office is a fun place to be.

Chemical Help:   Some pets really need a little more help than a loving owner can provide. If your pet is one of these, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild anti-anxiety medication for your next visit.