Tips for Creating Fear-Free Veterinary Visits

Going to the veterinarian’s office is a nerve-racking thing for many animals. They must endure a new environment while receiving an exam. However, all visits don’t have to end with anxiety-riddled pets. If you’re a veterinarian, read these tips for creating fear-free veterinary visits.

Create a Relaxing Waiting Room Experience

The waiting room is the first area where animals can become nervous. Not only are they in an unfamiliar environment, but they’re with other animals and people. Vet offices can create a relaxing waiting room experience to calm initial nerves. Bright waiting rooms are startling to animals, but offices with pastel colors are soothing. In addition, aromatherapy can help ease nerves. Veterinarian practices can place diffusers around the office with calming essential oils to further promote relaxation.

Be Calm in the Exam Room

When pets enter the exam room, avoid direct eye contact, and wait for the animal to initiate interaction. Lower your voice and don’t rush into the examination. Allow pets to sniff equipment or become comfortable in the room. This initiative aims to let the animal warm up to the environment and gain the trust of the vet. It’s also best to have a nonslip exam table to reduce the pet’s anxiety.

Explain Procedures to Pet-Owners

Pets aren’t the only ones that get nervous at the vet. Pet owners can get overwhelmed with procedures and practices that the veterinarian plans on performing. However, veterinarians can explain everything they’re doing to benefit the pet. For example, talking about the importance of X-rays is one way to increase client compliance for veterinary X-rays. Ultimately, explanations will ease pet owners’ nerves, as they know veterinarians are doing good things for their companions.

Try Positional Compliance Methods

One of the most challenging aspects of a veterinary visit is positioning animals for exams, procedures, and vaccinations. The days of wrestling pets to sit still are over, and veterinarians should work with the pet to determine the best positional compliance method. Some animals prefer lying on their stomach, some like sitting to the side, and others have unique preferences. However, veterinarians can use treats and cue words to help pets correctly position themselves.

Visiting a veterinarian’s office is challenging for pets and pet owners. However, veterinarians can create a relaxing environment to calm everyone’s nerves. We hope our tips for creating fear-free veterinary visits gave you great ideas on techniques to implement in your practice.

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