Why do we practice “fear free” medicine at Gentle Touch Animal Hospital in Denver, Colorado?
Why “fear free” medicine? A study that came out in 2014 reported 37% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners stated that their pet “hates going to the vet”. http://www.bayerdvm.com/show.aspx/resources/feline-practitioners-resource-center/bayer-veterinary-care-usage-study
Those numbers are astonishing! Can you imagine how many pets are missing out on their preventive care visits and may develop serious diseases down the road because of it? At Gentle Touch Animal Hospital, we decided that practicing fear free medicine was a must.
What exactly is “fear free” medicine?
¨ Fear free medicine is a style of practice that promotes stress free visits for the pet. Our entire staff was trained over a 5 month period to learn how to handle the pets in a stress free manner. This means no, or very little restraint and taking as much time as needed to calm the pet. Most animal hospitals schedule appointments every 15-20 minutes. We schedule them every 30 minutes to allow for us to take our time and relax your pet before performing anything that makes him nervous. That could mean that we need to spend 20 minutes calming your pet before a 5 minute nail trim, which is fine with us!
¨ We are highly trained in counter conditioning, which means distracting your pet with treats so that she does not associate any treatment as traumatic. She will remember that she will receive lots of treats when she comes in and be excited to visit us, not worried that we are the place that “pokes” her.
¨ All of our rooms are species specific. Your cat will go into a cat only room and your dog will go into a dog only room.
¨ What is the difference? Each room has species specific pheromones (they send off a scent that is scientifically proven to relax your pet), species specific music boxes that play music that is calming to your pet as well as loads of treats. We have skid free mats on the exam tables and if your pet is still nervous on the table, the doctor will get on the floor with her.
¨ We will always remember what works best for your pet for future visits as we put notes in every chart, front and center. For example, some cats do not respond to treats, however, if we put baby food on a spoon and offer that to them, they lap it up and do not pay attention to what we are doing. This will be noted in their chart and we will have baby food ready to go at the next visit.
Or, as always, you can contact Gentle Touch Animal Hospital at 303.691.3720 or email@example.com
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