Fear Free Vet Visits

Posted In: Behavior & Training, Feline Health & Wellness, Canine Health & Wellness, News Updates

Trips to the veterinarian can seem scary to your pet. To help alleviate some of that anxiety, our veterinarians and technicians are experts in using Fear Free techniques, which help make veterinary visits more enjoyable for pets and their people. It makes a huge difference in the way the animals behave during their veterinary visits! Here are just a few things we do to make vet visits Fear Free:

Bandanas for Dogs and Towels for Cats
As soon as your dog enters our building, we will give him or her a bandana. And when your cat comes in, we will put a warm towel over the carrier. The dog bandana will be sprayed with Adaptil®, and the cat towel will be sprayed with Feliway®. The sprays are actually pheromones. Keep reading to learn more about pheromones below!

The towel actually serves two purposes for helping cats. Not only are the pheromones relaxing, but when it is placed over your cat’s crate, the warmth helps them to feel even more safe and secure. Once you are in the exam room, you can put the towel inside the crate or wrap your cat up in it.

Pheromones are a type of chemical communication between species. Calming pheromones can sometimes help anxious or fearful pets because the chemicals mimic natural pheromones. Pheromones come in sprays, wipes, and even diffusers. We use all three in our clinics and exam rooms! The pheromones are available for purchase at AMCMA. They come in handy when you know your pet will be nervous, like before a car ride or if you are expecting visitors to your home. The spray pheromones and the wipes last about 4-5 hours, so you will want to reapply them as needed. Diffusers provide a constant supply for up to 30 days.

Fun fact: we spray our own clothes with Adaptil and Feliway twice a day! The pheromones are unscented to humans, and they are safe for fabric.

Yummy Treats
When you make your appointment, you may be asked to cut back on your pet’s food that day. If your pet is a little hungry, they will be more eager to take a treat from our staff. And when they get treats, dogs and cats are distracted and will feel more at ease with us. That makes for an easier and more fun time during the examination.

Separate Exam Rooms
Our exam rooms are dog and cat specific. Some pets get very scared or upset when they know another species has been in the room, so in our clinic, cats only go in cat rooms, and dogs only go in dog rooms. Our cat rooms are equipped with cat toys, treats, and cat perches. Our dog rooms have plenty of toys and treats as well, and both have pheromone diffusers and calming music.

Special Waiting Areas
One of the most stressful part of a veterinary visit can be the waiting room, where anxious pets can smell, see, and hear other pets nearby. While we try to get pets into the exam room as quickly as possible, sometimes it takes a few minutes. So, we’ve separated our waiting room to have areas “For Cats” and “For Dogs.” Plus, we’ve made sure to provide plenty of space in our waiting room so pets aren’t too close to other pets.

Fear Free in a COVID World
While we would love for you to see our exam rooms and waiting areas, we are currently limiting the number of people in our building due to the pandemic. You can find more information on how we are operating during COVID-19 here, and as soon as it is safe for us to fully open our doors again, we will be THRILLED to have you come in! In the meantime, we continue to provide Fear Free visits with curbside drop off.

Finally, we’ve complied some information so you, too, can take an active role in reducing your pet’s fear. Check it out!  

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.