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Fear Free Handling

Fear Free Handling

Since our inception, Healing Path has been committed to low-stress handling. By its very nature, medical care can be frightening and painful. It is important that we, as professionals, do all we can to minimize your pets’ stress, both to make sure they’re as happy as possible, as well as to maximize their health and healing capacities.

Every staff member at Healing Path is certified in Fear Free handling, and we work as a team to reduce your pet’s fear at every step of your visit.  You can read more about this initiative here.

Since animals often become stressed about their visits long before they arrive at our doors (they know where they’re going when you put them in the car), here are a few tips you can use to keep your pet calm on the way in to the clinic:

Tips for cats:

1. Cats often become stressed the instant they see the infamous transport carrier come out.  To keep this stress at a minimum, resist the urge to stow cat carriers in the basement or garage between visits.  Instead, keep it out and positioned in a spot your cat likes to rest, so she can get used to going in and out of it on her own.  Feeding her treats or meals in the carrier can also help get her used to the space.

2.  Feliway is a spray that was specifically developed to help reduce cat stress.  Spraying your cat’s carrier a few minutes prior to putting him inside may help keep him calm.  Catnip and/or Valerian root sprinkled inside the carrier may also be useful.

3. Cats generally feel less stressed in new places if they’re allowed to hide.  Throw a towel or blanket over your cat’s carrier before you leave the house.

Tips for dogs:

1.  For many dogs, treats work wonders to reduce fear.  Try to bring your dog to the vet a little more hungry than usual, by delaying or skimping on the pre-visit meal.  We keep treats at the clinic all the time, but if you know your dog prefers a certain treat, or if your dog has dietary limitations, bring special treats with you.

2.  If your dog is reactive to unfamiliar dogs or people, or is afraid of slippery floors or new places, give us a call from the parking lot when you arrive.  We’ll make sure the lobby is empty, and if your dog needs non-slip mats laid down, we’ll get that done for you as well.

3.  If your dog has a history of aggression or excessive fear at the vet’s, let us know before your appointment.  We can walk you through extra ideas to help prepare for your appointment, and in the process help keep your pet as relaxed as possible.

 

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