In this article I want to talk to everyone about some of these new “Fear Free” tactics we are going to start using in Lewis Animal Hospital so when you come to visit you will understand more about what we are doing and why we are doing it.
When our pets hear this word their ears perk up and come running, this is the kind of response we want to have going to the veterinarian trigger as well. Gone are the dry generic milk bones, and in are the extra tasty treats that your pet will love. If there is something your pet is specifically keen on bring it with you we want them to have the caviar of treats when they come to see us. For those with specific diets we will be carrying hypoallergenic treats that are safe for their diet but should still taste good. For best results we ask you to not feed your pet before they come in, nobody wants to cheese cake on a full stomach.
Before the front door
For some pets the problem starts before they even walk in the front door. Whether that be the carrier, the car ride, or even mentioning coming to the vet. Here are some simple things you can do at home before bringing your pet in.
· If you have a carrier bring it out a few days before the appointment. Place it by the food, each day bringing the food closer to it eventually having the food in the back of the carrier. When they go in reward them with extra treats.
· If you have a carrier have a nice soft blanket or bed in the carrier, that little bit of comfort can go a long way
· Have the car ready, no one likes to get in an obnoxiously hot/cold car so run the A/C or heat before taking your pet in.
· If you have a thunder shirt or something else that helps keep your pet calm bring it with them.
These can be helpful but sometimes it’s not enough, we can help with this too. There are many supplements or even medications we can have you give your pet to take the edge off coming to see us. We are not looking to zombify your pet but to give them that “I’ve had a drink at the bar and I’m feeling good” effect. Let’s be honest they don’t know why they are getting poked and prodded, and if we were in their shoes some most of us would not turn down a drink beforehand.
Most of the time when people would come see us we would happily and exuberantly greet them and their pet. This is all well and good for meeting people but with animals this can come off as a threat. So when you come to see us we promise that we are just as happy and bouncy but we are going to keep that on the inside. We are going to move slowly and calmly with your pet as if they are here for a spa day. We are not going to maintain prolonged eye contact with them, as this is also a threat in the animal kingdom, and we are going to move through the appointment at their pace. This does not mean we won’t be addressing the medical issues at hand, but we want the vist to feel more like a spa day than a visit to the doctor.
If you were to walk into a spa and it was playing heavy metal and smelled like a deep fryer you most would not feel very relaxed. What we plan to do is have a more calming facility for both you and your pets. We will have a lavender oil diffusor in the lobby for our clients, and specific pheromone diffusors for your pets throughout the building. Now what do I mean by pheromone, first thing that comes to my mind is the stuff they use on cattle to make them bigger but that is not what we are going for here. We are using calming pheromones that are naturally produced by animals and putting them into the air at our clinic, so like how lavender has a calming effect on most people it will have a similar effect on your pets. We are also working at getting classical music to play throughout the building, this has been proven in many studies to both calm humans and animals.
We want everything to be better
If coming to the vet is less of a battle and more of a fun visit it is best for everyone. You are happier because you don’t have to convince your dog or cat to come, your pets are happier because they get to come to a more relaxing environment, receive fun treats, and get attention, and we are happier because we can provide your pet with the best possible medical care and have them leave happier than when they came in. If there is anything that you can think of to make your pets visit a better experience we want to hear about it, contact us through email, Facebook, or calling during office hours, we want to work with you to have “the vet” bring joy to your pet.