At Town and Country, we have embraced the Fear Free ideals of Dr. Marty Becker. Over the years, he has implemented protocols for less stressful veterinary visits. The idea is to have both pets and owners enjoy visits to our clinic that minimize or eliminate fear. We achieve this through several steps, most notably:
-Providing you, the client, with tips on arriving to the clinic with an already calm pet (see Less Stress Tips below).
-Minimizing use of our waiting area and getting pets to a comfortable exam room as quickly as possible so that interaction with other cats and dogs is limited.
-Providing a soothing environment throughout the clinic with species-specific calming music and pheromones to incorporate all senses in the peaceful experience.
-While examining your pet, choosing a location they feel comfortable (not necessarily the exam table) and providing positive reinforcement, such as treats.
-Finding the ideal position to examine your pet for his/her comfort.
-Using vaccines that are virtually painless and hardly noticeable (for both you and your pet!).
-Using appropriate sedative tools when necessary.
Less Stress Tips:
-If possible, reduce food given prior to the visit so that your pet will receive treats more readily.
-Do not "baby talk" your pet on the ride; rather, play calming music or speak in a neutral tone.
-If your dog needs a pre-med for the visit, pick up a sedative the day before.
-Spray your car with Adaptil stress relieving spray (synthetic pheromone).
-Try to arrive 5 minutes early to walk and adapt your dog to the neighborhood and environment.
-If your dog is terrified to walk in the door, please leave him/her in the car, come check in at the front desk, and we will come get you at your car as soon as your exam room is available.
-24-36 hours before your visit, please leave the carrier out for your cat to explore; if possible, you can even feed your cat in the carrier the day before the visit to reduce anxiety surrounding it.
-Spray your carrier and car with Feliway stress relieving spray (synthetic pheromone).
-Make sure your cat's carrier is level in the car, covered by a blanket or towel (preferably covered in Feliway!), and facing the front.
-If your cat is very vocal and uncomfortable, please leave him/her in the car, come check in at the front desk, and we will come get you at your car as soon as your exam room is available.
For other resources and information on Fear Free Veterinary Practices, see the following:
Dr. Marty Becker's Fear Free Archives
Dr. Marty Becker speaking about Fear Free