We make a big deal about the fact that we’re Fear Free practice, primarily because it is a big deal. We do everything we can to make your dog or cat feel comfortable while we’re giving them an exam, including a special cat room, non-slick floors, exam ottomans, music, and even outdoor treatment areas.
The fact remains, however, that we are giving your pet an exam , and in an unfamiliar place. A virtual stranger is going to touch your pet, move body parts, peer into eyes, and gently squeeze internal organs. We might take a temperature or give a shot. Fear Free or not, there are parts of a visit to us that may not be all pleasant. Here are a two easy ways to train your pet to visit the vet.
Happy Visits. Come and visit us a few times before your scheduled appointment. Walk through the parking lot. Visit the fire hydrant. Check out the courtyard. Step on the scales. Get a treat. Sit in the reception area for a couple of minutes. Then go home. These ‘Happy visits’ help you and your fur baby to get acclimated to our location and our staff.
Practice Makes Perfect. While you’re petting your cat or dog, add in some motions that we will be doing during our exam:
Take your pet’s face into your hands, and look her in the eye.
Move your hand over his legs.
Use both hands and feel from chest to abdomen.
Lift the tail from the base, like we will do when getting ready to insert a thermometer.
Use your fingers to lightly squeeze the backbone up and down.
Pick up each leg and move it back and forth, then touch the paw.
Put a finger in each ear, and run in inside the lips.
Whether your pet is new to us, or a seasoned veteran, these two steps will get you and your pet closer to our goal of a truly Fear Free visit, and a happy, healthy pet.