May 07, 2018 12:09PM
● By Louisa Asseo
Dr. Louisa Asseo, owner of Oasis Veterinary Hospital, 6635 Alhambra Ave, Suite 100, 925.954.8087
We all know about “white coat syndrome” in people – a feeling of anxiety in a medical environment -- but did you ever think your pets could experience the same anxiety? We recognize that this is a real problem our patients face. Because of this, we have always tried to make veterinary visits as stress-free as possible for our furry and scaly friends.
We have always advocated “happy visits” for dogs, which entail your dog coming through our doors for a “tour,” treats, and a scratch behind the ears. We love when one of our patients cannot wait to see our team. A wagging tail and a big dog smile just make our day! For our more nervous friends, we strive to meet them on their own terms – doing our best to decrease their anxiety and make the experience as pleasant as possible.
In a constant effort to improve ourselves, the entire team has embarked on a journey together. Every team member and veterinarian here are now Fear Free Certified Professionals! This eight-course program taught us how to recognize stress and fear in our patients and how we can work towards minimizing stress before, during, and after the veterinary visit. While this training has given us more tools and ideas to improve our care, we understand this will be an ongoing journey and are excited to see the positive impact we can make for our pet patients!
Here are some tips you can use to try to make a veterinary visit less stressful for your pet.
1. Leave cat carriers open and visible in your house so your pet can see this as a safe place to curl up for a nap instead of the dreaded vet box. (We routinely find our cats curled up and asleep inside their carriers.)
2. Bring your pet’s favorite treats and toys to your veterinary visit.
3. If your pet needs to spend a longer time in our care, bring a T-shirt from home for familiar smells.
4. Allow extra time for the veterinary visit if your pet is scared so the veterinary team can work with him or her on their level.
5. Spray travel blankets and towels with calming pheromones such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs.
As always, we constantly strive to help your pets live healthier, happier lives. Reducing the stress of a trip to the vet is a big step towards realizing that goal