Heritage Veterinary Hospital is determined to make your pet’s visit a happy one. That is why we utilize fear free techniques to create a space where owners and their beloved furry companions can feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable.
The Fear Free movement was founded by Dr. Marty Becker and hundreds of other experts in veterinary and animal care. Our staff is knowledgeable about the emotional well-being of your pet as well as body language, enrichment, training, and ways to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress.
Learn More: https://fearfreepets.com/
We are dedicated to making our hospital a space where owners can feel confident that their pet is receiving the best care, both physical and emotional. You may notice we operate in a way that is different from other veterinary hospitals you have visited in the past. There are a few ways you can help, as an owner, to make your pet’s visit go smoothly.
Ways YOU can help:
- Pre-visit supplements/pharmaceuticals: Many pets need extra help remaining calm while in our facility. We recommend and prescribe a wide variety of supplements and medications that can be used prior to your pet’s appointment. Please reach out if you think your pet may benefit from these medications
- Desensitize to Tools: We ask that any pet who needs a basket muzzle be sized and trained to their own at home. This avoids negative association at the hospital and allows for a more comfortable fit for your pet. Other tools include harnesses, gentle leaders, and thundershirts
- Car Safety: Keep your pet secured in the car to maintain a safe environment while driving. Use a carrier or harness your pet is used to. For cats, we recommend keeping their carrier out at all times in the home to help them acclimate.
- Pheromones and Music: Don’t shy away from using pheromones like Feliway or Adaptil. Some pets also react well to essential oil diffusers with lavender oil. Playing classical or reggae music can help create a calmer environment at home before the visit and in the car.
- Comfort Items: We encourage you to bring your pet’s favorite treats, toys, or blankets from home. We can use these familiar items in a variety of ways to keep your pet stress free.
- Happy Visits: We encourage you to bring your pet by for a happy visit. These are more of a social visit where your pet receives love and attention from us, but no medical treatments! Some pets may prefer to sit outside and enjoy our beautiful landscaping and that's okay too. We want your pet to realize we aren’t always scary!
- Be Honest: Let us know upfront if your pet has ever displayed severe signs of fear, anxiety, or stress. You know your pet best! We will work together to find a plan that works for everyone!
How WE help:
- Curbside Waiting Room: We utilize a curbside waiting room protocol. This means you and your pet can relax in your car until your exam room is ready. This helps avoid interactions with unknown pets and nerves from strange sights and smells.
- Time to Adjust: It may seem like we are ignoring your pet, but it is really quite the opposite! We want to give them time to adapt to their new surroundings without the added pressure of attention from a new person. We will wait until your pet initiates contact with us before we pet or play with them.
- Treats: Please let us know right away if you or your pet has a food allergy. We keep a variety of tasty treats on hand to motivate and reward your pet. We may give more treats than what your pet needs on an average day, but this is a special occasion!
- Communication: We try our best to communicate with each other, and you, on the best handling techniques for your pet. We may ask you to move around the room or give your pet a scratch on the head to help them through any procedures. We make note about any particular likes or dislikes your pet may have and keep them on file for all staff to see.
- Gentle Handling: We use different tools to assist in the safe handling of your pet. This may involve a towel used to block visual and auditory stimulus, exams done in out-of-ordinary places (like the bench seating), and other techniques you may not have seen before. We will never force your pet through a non-life saving procedure. Some pets may need an extra visit or two to accomplish everything they need done.
- Ask!: Most importantly, if you ever have a question or concern, let us know! We work best as a team.
Fear Free Tips and Tricks: https://www.fearfreehappyhomes...