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Low Stress Handling

FEAR FREE VISITS?
Our team aims to reduce stress for our patients during their visit by gentle and sensitive handling.
We are trained to look for stress signs and will commonly recommend preventive measures if we feel a pet is getting anxious:
  • Happy visits (prescheduled free visits for dogs - a treat and a head pet, before the pet leaves the clinic without any procedures)
  • Staged visits (e.g. splitting up the Doctor exam and any vaccines/blood draws onto different days)
  • Muzzle training (if necessary). See muzzleupproject.com for advice and resources.
  • Desensitization training here or at home (for example slowly working up to having the paws handled while giving treats to hep with nail trims) - further resources can be found here and here.
  • Anti-anxiety medications, especially in cats where some of the above methods are not helpful.
Our aim is to keep a good relationship throughout the life of your pet so that we can minimize "wind-up" of stress over future years and to never have to strongly restrain your pet.

Learning about
your pets' behavior

We can all learn more about pet behavior and body language, so that we can improve our communication and relationship with our pets both at home and when at the vet clinic (or groomer, or boarding facility).

Dr. Sophia Yin's website is a great resource for further study - your pet will thank you!

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Dog Collar

Products to Consider:

There are many supplemental products that can help some pets with anxiety both in and outside the clinic:

Thundershirt

Adaptil diffusers for dogs

Feliway diffusers for cats

Zylkene capsules

Supplements containing L-theanine including Composure for both dogs and cats

 

More information can be found on the Veterinary Partner website.

Need more help?

If you feel that you would benefit from some additional help, we would encourage you to talk to your veterinarian about anxiety in your pet as well as seeking out a positive reinforcement trainer to help with desensitization and counter-conditioning.

We always recommend positive reinforcement training: although this can take more time than positive punishment trainings (electric collars, leash corrections, spray bottles for cats etc.), positive reinforcement has been proven to reduce the risk of worsening anxiety compared to other methods.

Local positive reinforcement trainers we know include:

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