Fear Free

Happy New Year! With the new year comes new year’s resolutions, and this year the staff at SRH Veterinary Services is resolving to make your pet’s visit the best ever.

We recognize that coming to the vet can be a stressful experience for your pet. It is our goal to implement best practices that will mitigate and if possible alleviate that stress so that your pet associates coming to SRH with positive experiences. Our staff has undergone training to become Fear Free Certified. We will be implementing fear free techniques to minimize the fear, anxiety, and stress that your pet experiences during their visit. Our New Year’s Resolution is to “Take the pet out of petrified.”

To accomplish our New Year’s resolution, we need communication and cooperation from our clients as the experience begins before the pet even walks through our door! We have many ways to help lower your pet’s fear and anxiety of coming to the vet, some of them starting at home before they travel to the office.

Most feline patients are not used to riding in a car, and some are not even accustomed to being handled or being in a carrier often. Acclimate your cat to their carrier at home by leaving it in an accessible location so they are free to come and go as they choose, and won’t associate its presence specifically with a trip to the vet. Feed them treats in it and provide a comfortable blanket so that hanging out in the carrier is second nature and will help them stay more relaxed on the trip. If you are in the market for a new carrier, consider one with multiple doors for easier access for entry and removal. A carrier that can be opened from the top is also preferred for easy access to kitty! Bring a towel to cover the carrier in the waiting room to help block potentially stressful sights of other pets, and keep the carrier up off the ground so that other pets won’t be tempted to investigate. It will also have scents from home that will make your pet more comfortable.

Some canine patients are excited to come into our office, but get wary when being approached or from the scents of our office. If your dog gets excessively excited or anxious around other dogs, perhaps plan to keep them comfortably in the car or out front in our yard until we are ready to see them in an exam room to help keep them calm. We are happy to come and get you when we are ready to take them right in! Bring some of your pets most favorite treats that can be fed throughout the visit to affirm that good things happen at the vets! We can also provide yummy treats but if your pet has a favorite come prepared!

Medications can always be considered if you feel that your pet has a high level of anxiety during their appointment. There are several medications available for cats and dogs. Please contact our office before your pet’s appointment to discuss with a staff member the best option for your pet.

Pheromones are a good, natural way to help with your pet’s anxiety. These products are designed to mimic the scents that mother cats and dogs give off while giving birth and during the whelping period. We spray these products on towels and blankets before handling pets. These products are available over the counter at most pet stores, and can be helpful to use before appointments to decrease your pet’s stress level.

Pet’s can sense their owner’s distress and this can add to their own anxiety. Sometimes we may ask to take your pet to the treatment area, or ask you leave the exam room during their visit so that your pet cannot sense your own stress about their visit. Fear Free beings at home! If you are relaxed during the visit it will help your pet stay relaxed! If you have concerns about what may take place during the visit or how your pet may cope, please call and discuss those concerns with us before arriving for your appointment to see if there are steps we can take to address them before you even leave the house.