Fairview Animal Hospital is wholly committed to providing a Fear-Free™ experience for your pet. We believe that your pet’s emotional wellness is equally important as his physical health and we are dedicated to protecting and preserving both.
We’ve made several changes at our hospital to remove anxiety triggers and create a stress-free environment. As a result, pets that have previously shown signs of anxiety, stress and/or fear are now demonstrating noticeably positive changes in behavior. Here are some things you might notice when you visit us:
- You may notice plug-ins in the wall – these are dispensing calming pheromones (chemical signals) that only your pet can detect. These pheromones help signal to them that this is a safe place and decrease their stress-response. (You may also see our staff putting a bandana, blanket or towel that has been sprayed with the same pheromones close to your pet, enhancing the effect.)
- We will ask you to sit with your pet for a few minutes in the exam room before we begin your appointment. This allows your pet to get familiar with the environment and gives the pheromones time to do their work.
- The music you hear in the exam room has been studied by behaviorists, and found to help decrease stress and anxiety in animals.
- At times, you may notice a softer tone in our voice as we try our best to create an environment and atmosphere that is peaceful and relaxing for your pet.
- We will give plenty of treats to your pet during their visits, as long as this is medically appropriate – positive experiences will help make this a “happy place” for your pet. (It helps if you bring them in hungry!!)
- We hope to examine your pet where it is comfortable for them. This may mean doing our exam on the exam table, on the floor, or with your pet sitting in your lap. We may try different approaches to find what works best for your pet.
- We plan to use distraction techniques whenever possible, to distract your pet’s attention from any procedure we plan to perform, such as vaccinations.
- We encourage you to bring your pet to visit us between scheduled appointments for snuggles, pets and treats, so that coming in becomes something they look forward to and enjoy.
- Some animals that are very fearful or anxious about coming to the veterinarian may benefit from a “chill pill” given prior to their visit. There are several natural products available that have a calming effect. For highly anxious pets, stronger medications are available. We will discuss your options with you and help you decide which is best for your pet.
We encourage you to become a member of Fear Free Happy Homes and get access to the most cutting-edge content and education to help brighten and enrich your pet’s life to the fullest.