Skip to content

Becoming a Fear-Free Clinic

dog covering face

 

 

 

Without a doubt, a trip to the vet is one of the more stressful events in your pet(s) life.  The last thing we want is for your pet to fear the one place that is fully committed to ensuring they live a happy and healthy life. At River’s Edge, we’re doing our best to decrease your pet’s stress level by implementing several stress-relieving techniques which will hopefully make your pet’s visit as pleasant as possible.

  • Even before you bring your pet to the clinic, we’re offering a way to start the calming process before you leave your home!  At your convenience, you can drop by the office and pick up an Adaptil infused bandanna for your dog or a Feliway wipe/bandanna for your cat.  Both of these “miracle-in-a-bottle” pheromones are designed to mimic the smells associated with home and the safety your home provides.  They literally fool your pet into thinking they are in a familiar place because the smell of the pheromone mimics the “safe” smell of your pet’s natural environment. The effect is amazing!  We can also apply bandannas which have already had pheromones previously applied to your pet when you arrive in the clinic.
  • For our feline friends, we ask that when you arrive that you allow us take your carrier into our treatment room while you wait.  This separates your calm cat from the noisy dogs in the lobby further decreasing their stress response. We will also cover your pet carrier in a towel to which Feliway has been applied, further decreasing the stress of your feline companion.
  • When you first enter the exam room, you will notice soft, classical music playing.  This album is called “Through a Dog’s Ear.” and has been clinically proven to decrease stress in dogs and cats.
  • At the beginning of your appointment you will also be asked if our staff can give your pet some very tasty treats. Food is a major motivator for both cats and dogs and our tasty treats can hardly be resisted!  We ask that you bring your pet on an empty stomach as our treats will be more readily received and the act of taking food from a stranger decreases the fear response your pet may have and fosters a feeling of trust between your pet and our staff. Behold! Food! Encouraging friendships between your pet and our caring doctors and assistants!   We will try to ensure your pet receives a steady supply of treats throughout the exam and vaccination process, many times while your pet is distracted with food, they won’t even notice the vaccination itself or the blood draw for the heartworm test.
  • You will also notice that we’ve added non-slip pads to our examination tables which helps your pet feel more stable on a surface that isn’t as slippery as stainless steel.  Our doctors will do their best at attempting to provide examinations for large dogs on the floor as putting them up on the exam table can be very stressful as well.

Our journey to a “fear-free” practice is constantly evolving, please let us know any other ideas you may have to keep your pets stress to a minimum.