Fear does not have to be the cost of treatment.
This is the latest cover of dvm360 magazine, a publication that I, and other veterinarians all over the country, get in our mailboxes every month.
As soon as I saw the title article, my veterinary heart leaped for joy! I have been following and promoting low stress methods in my practice for years (although admittedly, not always perfectly), and “fear-free” has become my main goal since launching Small Things Veterinary House Calls in Broomfield, CO. The revolution is spreading!
Treating pets in the comfort of their own home already sets me up for a successful low-stress appointment. But add to that a constant barrage of peanut butter or dried salmon, breaks for play time, and restraining techniques that are more like a massage or a hug, and you’ve got the makings of a wonderful veterinary experience for your dog or cat.
There’s a lot more involved in providing a fear-free veterinary visit, of course (like recognizing the subtle signs of fear and anxiety), but my clients know one thing for sure once the visit has ended. And it sounds like this:
“That was so easy!”
“My dog/cat didn’t even know that you just gave them a vaccine; that’s amazing.”
“She loves seeing you when you come over!”
What I hear as their veterinarian is that I’ve been successful in my efforts to provide pets with a better, less anxiety-ridden experience with their medical care. I have not forced them to pay the cost of their treatment in fear. That is a price that’s too high to pay.