Top Ten Veterinary Practices to Keep Your Pet Calm and Safe
Be sure your animal hospital follows these practices to help your pet be as stress free as possible. (Were you looking for things to do at home to keep your pet safe?)
1. Clean, quiet hospital environment
2. No waiting in view of other pets; staff takes your pet in right away
3. Established pattern of check in and check out with pets standing behind walls/ not in sight of each other; Preferable, a circular flow pattern with some doors in between areas; “Out of sight is out of mind.”
4. Cats and dogs scheduled at separate times of day
5. Clean, quiet examination/consultation rooms with closing, solid doors
6. Please keep your cat in the carrier until the nurse or the doctor is ready to see him or her! Cats are territorial creatures. When they are taken out of their territory (your house and/or yard) they become agitated. In fact, some of the hardest cats to handle in the animal hospital are the ones that are the sweetest at home!
7. Quiet, calm, smooth-moving assistants. No sudden movements, no hesitation, a firm, gentle grasp is often all that is needed to communicate calmness to your pet and get the job done!
8. During the office call, any distasteful or slightly painful procedures should be saved for last, so your pet is upset the least amount of time. For example, for many pets, the rectal thermometer is a big no-no. Other pets hate their ears or their paws being touched. If some part of the body is painful, a good veterinary practice is to examine that part last. (Like a painful knee or ingrown toenail.) There is a caveat to this practice. If an animal is likely to be totally violent in the hospital, there may only be time to examine the one main area of interest before your “license to examine” has expired!
9. “Never trust an owner’s leash!” Sorry- but well-trained veterinary staff know how loose or tight your pet’s collar should be. Sometimes you’ve got it wrong! We’ve all seen dogs or cats run across busy streets outside of our clinics, and believe me, if we advise you to get a small cat carrier, or tighten your dog’s collar, we know what we’re talking about!
10. Selective sedation makes for less stressful visits for the pet, the people, and the doctor.