Vet Blog

Let's Make Every Visit a Fear-Free Visit!!

April 04, 2019

Our doctors and staff undergo detailed training to prevent, recognize and respond to fear, stress, and anxiety in dogs and cats.

Many of these signs are very subtle.

We look at things from your pet's point of view, reducing exposure to scary stimuli and adding lots of pleasant conditions to veterinary visits.

The difference is in the details. Soft nonslip surfaces, extra special treats like peanut butter popsicles, gentle positioning, natural light, noise reduction, fun enrichment, and soothing pheromones help pets feel safer.

You can help your pet's visit be Fear Free, too. Ask us for tips on preparing your pet for a trip to Holt - here are a few ideas:

  • Bring your pet to his or her visit hungry, if possible! We offer lots of special treats during our visits, and a hungry pet will be most likely to associate the visit with fun treats!
  • Place a familiar blanket or towel in your pet's carrier.
  • Avoid storing the carrier in the attic, garage, or somewhere with foreign smells. If possible, store it in a room your pet usually visits.
  • Secure small carriers behind the car seat or in the cargo area so it doesn't slide around - a seat belt strap can be run through the carrier handle in a pinch!
  • Cover cat carriers with a blanket or towel.
  • Avoid holding small carriers by the handle - it's convenient, but the swinging sensation is very unpleasant, and may and even make your pet feel nauseated. Carrying the container with two hands makes a big difference!
  • Set small carriers on the bench or exam table, rather than on the floor.
  • Place the blanket or bandana provided by the technician on the carrier - it has been sprayed with soothing pheromones, which encourage your pet to relax a bit.
  • Feel free to ask us for assistance unloading your pet from the car!
  • If you have any concerns about your pet's level of stress, our doctors can discuss a specific plan to sedate or otherwise prepare your pet for transport if that's in his or her best interest.

Less anxiety means better medical outcomes and more fun for everyone!