Is your pet stressed visiting the vet?
We make health care environments stress-free for children, why not do the same for our animal family members?
Many children visit pediatric dentists. Stuffed toy animals everywhere, fake tiki torches “burning” on the walls, a cave shaped like a wild animal, smiling and friendly staff, and countless toys, books, and video games… and this is just the waiting room! What is the benefit to the child? A fun, low stress visit. No more hating the dentist! What is the benefit to the dental team? Stress free patients that allow them to perform the procedures that need to be done for the health of the child.
Take this, and make the child a four legged fuzzy family member. Change the dentist to a veterinarian. Replace the tiki torches with happy pheromone infusers. Switch out that lion cave for a nice, dark, secure blanket to hide under. Switch the smiling, enthusiastic staff…well, hang on… we’ll keep those! But provide these veterinary assistants and other team members with training that allows them to interact with our cats, dogs, and other animal patients in a stress-reducing environment.
Quiet voices, appropriate body language, and gentle and minimal restraint techniques are only a few of the ways we can start to make veterinary visits easier on our beloved animals.
Why do veterinary assistants restrain animals in practice? There are three main goals: prevent the animal from being harmed, prevent the handler from being harmed, and to successfully complete the treatment or procedure required. Many veterinarians and their assistants are embracing the opportunity to achieve these goals while working towards as low stress environment.
A proactive approach to reducing animal stress will lead to a patient that is able to better tolerate and perhaps even enjoy the visit to the veterinary hospital.