Heritage Veterinary Hospital is happy to announce stress-free visits for your pet! One of our goals for you and your pet has always been to have a pleasant experience here, and we are introducing new ways to help alleviate anxiety and stress during your pet’s visit.
It’s a win-win situation. When your pet is relaxed, we can give a better assessment to ensure the best health for him. Research proves that increased stress and anxiety affect basically every body system in an animal, leading to a more difficult and less accurate health assessment. That’s not what we want. We want you BOTH to have a peaceful, stress-free experience at every visit. Together, we can make that happen.
How We Make Your Pet’s Visits Less Stressful
Hopefully your pet already loves visiting our hospital, but if she doesn’t, we can make some changes to make it less stressful for both of you.
- Less waiting room time: Our friendly staff will get you into an exam room as soon as possible, avoiding other potentially anxious pets.
- Pheromones (Adaptil/Feliway): We have sprayed our welcome mat with species-specific calming pheromones, and also are using them in our exam rooms. These are also available for use at home if your pet has anxiety issues.
- Happy Visits Program: Bring in your pet for a weigh-in and a snack, and get love from our staff five times in a year, and our doctors will give you $10 off your next wellness visit!
- Exams suited to your pet: Where is your pet most comfortable? On the floor or the table? Does she like belly rubs? Does she have visual or verbal cues that he responds to? Letting us know what your pet responds to helps your pet be more comfortable in a unique situation.
- Let your pet get comfy with us on his terms: Some pets love to be loved. Others want to be left alone. Some warm up slowly. Don’t be surprised if our technicians “ignore” your pet at first. If we sense that your pet is shy or nervous, we will give him a chance to get used to our presence before approaching him.
How YOU Can Make Your Pet’s Visits Less Stressful
You can also help your pet have a stress-free visit by doing a few easy things at home to prepare for your visit, including:
- Bring your pet hungry: We love dishing out the treats to win your pet’s trust. If he has a favorite snack, feel free to bring a small bag, and allow our staff to spoil him! Please let us know if your pet has a sensitive stomach, and we will adapt to his needs.
- Bring your pet tired: If your pet has been crated all day while you’ve been at work and has a lot of pent-up energy, spend a few minutes playing ball or going for a walk before bringing him in. Your pet would rather spend quality time with YOU, not us!
- Bring out the pet carrier a few days ahead of time: Nosy kitties will enjoy playing or resting in it after getting acclimated to it, and they will be less likely to associate the carrier with a road trip.
- Yellow Dog Project: Does your dog need some space? Tie a yellow ribbon around your dog’s leash. It is a signal to others to go slow, to ask before approaching your pet.
- Schedule your appointment at a slower time for anxious pets: Talk with one of our friendly staff, and we will help you select the best time to bring in your furry friend.
- Understand your pet’s situation: A fearful or anxious pet may exhibit behaviors that would be completely abnormal at home. But no matter what, the veterinary office isn’t home. There are many smells, sounds, sights, and sensations that your pet will pick up on, but you may not. By gently but assertively encouraging your pet, and allowing our staff to reassure them, together we are doing everything possible to make this a safe and pleasant experience for everyone.
Learn More About Stress-Free Veterinary Visits
For more information on stress-free veterinary visits, check out the following links:
- DVM360: Low Stress Veterinary Visits
- Fear Free Certified
- AAHA: Fundamentals of a Fear Free Veterinary Visit
Your pet’s health, safety, and well-being are our top priorities. We want to make you and your pet feel comfortable and welcome at Heritage Veterinary Hospital. If there are other things we can do to help you or your pet make your visits more pleasant, please let us know.