Be Fear Less
Creekside Veterinary Hospital is Proud to be a “Fear Less Hospital”
How to Ensure “Fear Less” Visits From Living Room to Exam Room In A “Fear Less State.”
Start with the heart and not with the head. Pets need to feel protected and safe. Fear less hospitals address the emotional care of pets along with the physical care.
Fear is one of the worst things a social species can experience, and can cause permanent emotional damage. In addition, fear in response to something painful or disturbing can condition the pet to experience more fear in response and compound itself in successive visits.
A recent Bayer Study found that 37% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners say their pets dislike going to the vet. Furthermore, 26% of dog owners and 38% of cat owners think going to the vet is stressful. Unfortunately, this results in decreased visits to the veterinarian and many animals are not getting the medical care they need to stay happy and healthy for a very long time.
Ways to make your veterinary visit “Fear Less.”
Try these tips before you get to our hospital:
- Counter Conditioning. Think about your pet’s earliest anxiety triggers and try to prevent or decrease the stress associated with them. For example, if a car ride means that your dog is always going to the vet perhaps you should take your pet for car rides to other places as well.
- Bring in your pet for “Happy Visits”. A happy visit is simply a trip to our hospital to say hello to our staff, feed your pet some treats, and then go home happy. Make sure you set up a positive experience for your pet. If this means calling our staff beforehand to let us know you are coming we can ensure you come at a time when there are few animals in the lobby and we can have food/treats ready for you.
- Do NOT feed breakfast before your veterinary visit. A hungry pet will focus more on your treats and allow you to condition them easier. It is also helpful for your pet to be fasted in case there are any tests that need to be done.
- Prevent nausea! Many pets become nauseous when riding in the car and are not in top form when they come into the clinic. Premedicating with a car sickness medication may help alleviate this problem.
- Reduce anxiety! Stress reducing medications can help relax your pet and make the experience much more bearable for high energy or stressful animals. Ask your veterinarian about medications for anxiety/stress.
- Get your “Thunder Shirt!” Thunder Shirts are a simple and safe way to prevent anxiety in dogs and cats. Check out the website: http://www.thundershirt.com/Product/
- Make a level surface to keep your pet levelheaded! Making a level surface out of the car seat for crates to sit on will help your pets relax in the car. Cats and dogs can become stressed when they slide around a slippery, uneven surface on a car ride.
Things we do at the hospital to make your pet “Fear Less.”
- Where do you want to wait? At Creekside Veterinary Hospital we understand the waiting room is not always the best place to wait for your appointment. We are happy to let you wait in the car, reception area, or examination room. Pets have different stress triggers and finding out the best option for your pet can reduce anxiety in both your pet and yourself. We are happy to provide isolation from areas that may increase your pets anxiety or fear.
- Smell this! Pheromones are chemicals developed to help ease anxiety in dogs and cats. We have both cat and dog pheromones in our reception area, exam rooms, and treatment areas to help make your pets more comfortable.
- Your pets may love Mozart! Studies show that certain types of classical music can help calm and relax your pets. We play calming music in the waiting room and each exam room to help your animals relax and enjoy their stay.
- Puppy Socialization is key. We offer puppy socialization classes and information. Ask one of our receptionists about these seasonal classes.
Things we do in the exam rooms to make your visit “Fear Less.”
- Our exam rooms are cleaned, sanitized, and “odor free.”
- Pheromones are used in each exam room to help ease anxiety while waiting.
- Classical music selected by a veterinary neurologist is played in each exam room to calm the part of the brain that causes stress and anxiety in your pets.
- Do your pets like yoga? Each exam room is equipped with a yoga mat for your animal. Yoga mats are comfortable for sitting and beat the traditional cold table surfaces which can cause anxiety in any patient.
- Would you like a warm towel? Each room is prepared with a warm towel to make your pet more comfortable.