WHAT IS A FEAR FREE VISIT?
The pets we care for and their families are important to us. We recognize that not all pets are happy to visit us and we want to do everything we can to make everyone more comfortable and relieve some of their stress.
Our goal is to provide a more enjoyable, less stressful experience for pets and parents alike. We are taking steps in all areas of our hospital to help improve the way you both feel during a visit with us.
Becoming Fear Free certified as a practice is a process that will include making some modifications to certain aspects of our hospital, certification of staff members, and we will be implementing new policies for patient handling and restraint.
We are excited to be able to offer this type of service to our valued clients and their pets, and we hope you will enjoy your experiences with us!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
A visit to our hospital begins at home! We have put together some tips to help you and your pet get a head start on the experience and help make the trip here more enjoyable.
For Cats and Dogs:
- Bring the carrier out 2-3 days before your appointment and place it in an common are of your home. Keep the door open with a blanket or bed inside and some treats! This will help your pet become familiar with the carrier before the big day and not feel so anxious about going inside!
- Spray the inside of the carrier with pheromones. Pheromones are clinically proven to aid in creating a feeling of calm in animals. Pheromones are available at the clinic should you wish to purchase prior to your appointment. Feliway for cats, and Adaptil for Dogs.
- Always support the carrier from the base while you carry it. This will ensure your pet is enjoying a smooth ride!
- Consider the angle of the seat in your car and prop up the back to the carrier level Cover the carrier with a blanket or towel to minimize visual stressors for your kitty.
- When medically appropriate, withhold food for 10-12 hours prior to travel. This will reduce car sickness, and will make treats at the hospital more enjoyable!
- Consider a Thunder Shirt – This is a snug shirt your pet can wear that helps them feel more secure. It is like swaddling a baby, or using a weighted blanket. Contact us prior to your appointment if you would like to try a Thunder Shirt. We have some available as loaners or to purchase.
- Your pet will know if you are nervous or upset. Try to remain calm and reduce nervous talking in the car. They will feed off your anxiety! You can even play calming music for the car ride!
- If you feel your pet may need additional assistance in the form of natural calming supplements or medication for their travel to the hospital, please contact us prior to your appointment and we can discuss the methods that will best suit your pet.
If your pet is fearful, please inform us prior to arriving. We will do our best to make accommodations based on his/her needs so you both can have an enjoyable, stress reduced visit with us.
We encourage the families of nervous pets to come in for a ‘Happy Visit’ any time. Enjoy a pleasant visit with the staff, get some love and snuggles and a few treats! No treatment that may cause anxiety will be performed during this time. A few visits with us under these conditions will help to reduce the stress of a veterinary visit and they may even look forward to it!