You may have noticed a few changes when you have come in to the clinic recently. Perhaps you were asked to keep your dog away from another, or to put your cat up on top of the fridge or on the chair, maybe you were even asked to go straight in to an empty consult room to await the vet.
These changes are not aimed only at you and certainly do not mean you have done anything wrong!
We are taking some big steps and doing a lot of study to become an accredited 'Stress Free Clinic.'
What this means is that we are taking a look at how all of our patients behave in the clinic environment from weigh ins and vaccinations to hospital visits and surgical stays. We want to create an environment where your pets are comfortable and possibly, even relaxed.
We have learnt that a stress free clinic actually starts with you! There are many things you can do at home, before you come to the vet to help the visit go as smoothly as possible.
For example, I can not count how many times I have answered the phone to a client saying 'I'm so sorry! I am going to be late/ miss my appointment today, as soon as my cat saw the carrier he/she did a runner!'
In this example, what we would be recommending is to make your cat carrier part of the every day furniture in your house. Put their favourite bed in there, a couple of treats and give them a cuddle (if they like that sort of thing) every time they go in to it. Make the carrier a safe, happy, relaxing space for them rather than something that instantly means 'aaaagh I'm going to the vet, get me out of here!'
We highly recommend 'Feliway Spray' which is a synthetic pheromone which helps to calm down our feline friends and relax them before their visit.
This can work best by spraying the feliway on to a towel or blanket and covering their carrier with it during the car ride and walk into the vet. Please leave them covered up whilst you wait for the vet.
For dogs, food seems to be the answer! (unless they are booked in for surgery or a fasting blood test..) If your dog isn't keep to come up the ramp, ensure you've got a pocket full of their favourite treats! Give them some more for hopping up on to the scales and a few more whilst you wait and on the walk in to the consult room.
If you would like more information on anything we are doing with regards to our Stress Free accreditation and helping ensure your pet has the best vet experience possible, please get in touch.