22 Feb Fear- Free Veterinary Visits for Dogs
The Tucson Cimarron Animal Hospital Team is committed to providing a Fear Free veterinary experience, to the best of our ability, for every pet we care for.
Here are our suggestions for Fear Free Veterinary Visits:
- Bring your pet’s favorite treats with you.
- Give a couple small bites in the car
- Give a bite when you arrive in the waiting room, while practicing “Sit” and “Lie down”
- Give a bite when you settle into the exam room, again while practicing calm behaviors
- Save the rest for your veterinary care team! This way, they will have more opportunity to give treats to help make the experience more pleasant!
- Do not feed your pet after 6:00 pm the night before a visit so they are more willing to take treats along the way.
- Practice Riding in the Car, if your dog is not a big fan.
* Let him eat treats in the car, without turning it on
* Gradually get him to get in the car for treats
* Let him eat treats with the car on, without driving
* Reward calm behavior in the car with treats.
- Ask your Veterinarian for a Canine Calming Kit for anxiety or carsickness if needed
- Visit your Veterinary Clinic during slow times, when things are calm. Call your clinic ahead of time, to make sure the place is going to be quiet.
* Practice calm behaviors like “Sit”, “wait”, and “Down”
* Practice getting on and off the scale, giving a treat for a calm “Sit” on the scale.
* Practice walking through doors that make that your pet nervous.
* Practice being on the Exam table. Make sure your pet’s favorite treats are always there! Ask your veterinary care team if you can just practice without an exam – only loves and pets.
* Let your Vet Care Team give treats too! Either use yours or let them “spoil” your pet with something new and different! Speak up if your pet has any food allergies or is on a Prescription diet!
- Schedule Mini Training Sessions for your Pet with your Veterinary Behavior Technician/ Assistant for special issues like these:
- Fear of nail trims
- Fear of ear exams
- Fear of face handling
Cimarron’s Veterinary Assistant Leeanne is a PetSmart Certified Trainer and has over 20 hours in veterinary behavior modification continuing education just this year! A short, 15 minute session only costs $15. She does training by appointment during our quieter hours, to teach pets to be calmer.
Request An Appointment here Mon and Wed 9:00am- 2:00pm
Tues 12:00pm- 2:00pm
Thursday 2:00pm- 5:00pm
- Some Tools that can help:
* “Happy Doggy Pheromones” such as Adaptil in the carrier, in the car on your vet and in their exam rooms mimic the soothing scents of mama’s milk glands (really!)
* Prescription oral medications may be needed for pets with more significant anxiety. Anxiety medications need to be tailored to each individual pet (just like humans!) since pets react differently to different medications. If one type of medication or one dose doesn’t work something different can be tried next time until you find the right combination of treatments that makes both you and your pet the most comfortable.
* Injectable medication or additional oral medications can also be given by our Veterinarian once you are in the clinic if your dog is still very anxious. This is a very valuable tool in allowing a stress free examination, blood collection or other testing. It may cost a little more, but you and your pet will both enjoy the experience much more!
If you have questions about helping your pet have a more Fear Free Veterinary Experience, please contact us! Remember, the Fear Free Veterinary Visit really starts at home. Let us know if your pet has Veterinary Anxiety when you make your appointment!