We believe in making your pet visits as fear-free as possible and are able to use many different options to accomplish that. Puppies and kittens enjoy treats, or belly-rubs as we do exams, give vaccinations and other treatments that might be needed. Older pets, some of whom may already fear the veterinary visit, can benefit from other options – distraction, treats, tricks, massage, etc. – while we clip nails, give vaccinations and do treatments. When necessary, sedation with certain medications can make the difference between a fearful visit and the start to making a trip to the veterinary clinic enjoyable again.
We know that you love your fur-buddy, and can give you great advice about how to start fear-free training at home, before the car ride to the clinic, and once you arrive. Acclimatizing cats to their carrier, and dogs to car outings is a great place to start. Here at the hospital, we use pheromone therapy (Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs) to increase comfort in the exam room, and make your pet feel more relaxed. Gentle handling by our trained staff continues the comfort. We will NOT force a frightened pet to endure a pedicure in a state of panic – it increases fear and escalates the resistance to subsequent visits.
Some owners stop bringing their pet for veterinary visits because they hate to see their pet unhappy and afraid. This breaks the preventative care cycle needed to help keep their pets as healthy as possible – we see them again when pets are so ill they can no longer avoid the appointment. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that we have missed an important early treatment window, and other times, the visit is too late in the disease process for us to be able to help the pet.
Make sure we have the fear-free conversation with you. It is SO helpful in the regular life-long treatment of your beloved pet!!